The Top 0% Intro APR Credit Cards You Should Consider

Selective focus on credit card

Credit cards are the holy grails of credit. They carry a lot of weight when it comes to credit scores and financial profiles. Every debtor should have at least one credit card on his or her credit report. Each debtor should also make sure that the credit card of choice is one that works best for him or her. There are many types of credit card options from which a debtor may choose. One of the most popular types of cards is the 0% intro APR option.

Best Credit Cards With Zero Percentage APR

This credit card type has a promotion that offers the debtor 0% interest for a certain amount of time. After the promotional period ends, the debtor must pay the regular APR.

Consumers can take advantage of 0% intro APR credit cards in many ways. They can use them to merge their credit card accounts. They can use them to make large purchases without having to pay any interest. Also, they can use them to boost their FICO scores. We’ve taken the liberty to find some of the top 0% intro APR credit cards on the market right now that you should consider. Sift through this list and then pick the one that seems like it will suit your current needs. We can even help you find more.

Discover It Balance Transfer Card

Discover It Balance Transfer Card with 0% APRThe Discover It Balance Transfer card is a good choice if you’re looking for 0% intro APR credit cards that you can also use to transfer your balances. The initial 0% interest period is for the first six months for purchases and the first 18 months for balance transfers. After that, the annual percentage rate will increase to a 13.49% – 24.49% variable interest rate. This would be a great time to grab this card and transfer the balances from your other cards to it.

The Discover It Balance Transfer Card has other features and benefits to it aside from its promotional offer. You will also be free of paying any kind of annual fee because the current annual fee is $0. Other features that the card offers are features such as a free FICO credit score, social security number alerts, and friendly US-based customer service representatives. Furthermore, the card doubles as a cashback card. You can get up to 5% cashback on the purchases you make with the card. To make it even better, the credit card company will match your cash back earnings at the end of your first year. This card just keeps on giving!

To qualify for the Discover It Balance Transfer Card, you should have a credit score in the 700 point range. You should also be a US citizen who is at least 18 years of age since you will have to sign a credit card contract.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards CardThe Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card is another card that may interest you. It’s one of the 0% intro APR cards that also doubles as a rewards card. The introductory period of having a 0% APR will last for the first 15 months for your purchases. After the promotional period ends, your purchase APR will change to a 15.49%-25.49% variable APR. Your balance transfers will also be at 0% for the first 15 months you have the card. After that, you will have a  15.49%-25.49% APR, and you will also have to pay a 3% fee.

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card also has many other positive features that come with it. For one, you will not have to pay a fee for any foreign transactions that you do with your card. You will not have to pay an annual fee for this card either. Other features that you will have access to include features such as 1.5% cash back on all the purchases you make with your card. Additionally, you will also have access to a $150 bonus if you spend $500 on your purchases within three months after you get your credit card.

It’s worth it to take a look at this card and think about applying for it. You must be 18 years of age and be a US resident. Capital One is generally more lenient with their approval criteria than some other credit card companies are. You may be able to get approval for this card if you have a credit score of about 670.

Discover It Cashback Card

Discover It Cashback CardThe Discover It Cashback Card is another wonderful card offered to you by the Discover company. It is strictly a cashback card and does not offer balance transfers. Thus, it will be perfect for you if you’re not looking to transfer any of your balances. The Discover It Cashback Card allows you to earn 5% cash back on some of your purchases and 1% cash back on your other purchases. It also offers a cashback match as part of the promotion. You will receive a cashback match after the first year that you have the card.

This card is one of the 0% intro APR cards that will be a dream for you to own. Card features include features such as unlimited cashback, anytime redemption, amazon checkout, and social security number alerts.

You should have a credit score of at least 700 points to get an approval for this credit card. As usual, you must be 18 years of age or older.

BankAmericaCard Credit Card

BankAmericaCard Credit CardBank of America is one of the most prominent banks in the nation, and it offers consumers a credit card with its name on it. The BankAmeriCard Credit Card has a 0% APR introductory period of 18 months. After the initial introductory period ends, credit cardholders will have an APR of 14.49% – 24.49% on purchases and balance transfers. They will also have to pay a 3% fee when they do balance transfers.

The Bank of America Credit Card has many features for consumers to enjoy. It offers clients free access to their FICO score so that they know how it’s improving each month. The card also has no annual fee and no penalty APR. Therefore, a late payment will not cause a rise in a cardholder’s APR. It may, however, create a drop in the person’s credit score.

Applicants must have a very good or excellent credit score to gain approval for the BankAmeriCard. They must also be at least 18 years old and be a citizen of the US. Applicants do not have to be Bank of America customers, but being a customer may help them to gain approval for the card.

American Express Cash Magnet

American Express Cash MagnetSome consumers are into American Express cards. If you’re like them, you will love the American Express Cash Magnet O% APR credit card. This card offers a 0% percent APR for the first 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. After the initial promotion ends, the cardholder will have to pay an APR of 2.99%-23.99%, and it is variable.

This card is a cashback card, which means that cardholders can earn money back on their purchases. The card offers a 1.5% cashback potential. The promotional offer for this card also includes a $150 bonus for new cardholders who spend at least $1,000 during their first month of owning the card.

The cashback system allows cardholders to earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase they make. They can use the cash back to buy merchandise, get gift cards, or pay toward their credit card bills.

Those two features aren’t the only features that this amazing card offers, however. Cardholders also have access to premium features such as no annual fee and the ability to use their cards in more than 3 million stores and websites.

American Express credit cards are generally hard to get. They require a credit score of 700 points or more for approval. A credit score of 700 or more is considered good or excellent. Card applicants must also be at least 18 years of age to apply. They can make their applications over the phone, or they go to the website and apply online. Sometimes, American Express sends offers to potential cardholders. A consumer can follow an invitation and visit the required site to apply for a card that way. Approval should be quick and painless.

Chase Freedom Card

Chase Freedom CardChase Bank offers the Chase Freedom card to consumers who have scores of 700 to 750 points. The Chase Freedom card has an introductory period of 15 months where cardholders do not have to pay any credit card interest on their purchases. After the initial 0% APR period ends, the cardholders will have a regular APR of 6.49% – 25.24%. Along with the 0% APR in the beginning, the Chase Freedom card gives a new cardholder a bonus payment of $150. The person has to spend at least $500 during the first three months of account opening.

The Chase Freedom card offers a myriad of additional benefits. One thing they offer that’s different from other credit cards is weekly access to the cardholder’s credit score. The Credit Journey feature keeps cardholders abreast of how they measure up in the credit world. Some of the other features that this card has to offer include features such as 5% cashback on certain categories up to $1,500 and unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases. Cardholders will also get to enjoy a 3% introductory balance transfer fee and no credit card annual fee at any time. This one is worth a try if you have a good credit score, and you want to take advantage of some huge cashback opportunities.

Capital One Savor One Credit Card

Capital One Savor One Credit CardThe Capital One Savor One Credit Card is definitely a card that you can savor. It comes in a cute little peach color and a memorable name. It’s one of the 0% intro APR cards that you can get if your credit score is not in the “excellent” category. You may be able to land this card if you have a score of 660 or even a little less. You can certainly give it a try if you don’t have too many inquiries on your credit report at this time.

The 0% APR on this card lasts for the first 15 months after you open your account. You will have a 15.49% – 25.49% APR when the first 15 months of time goes by. You can still enjoy a myriad of features even after the initial promotional period ends. One feature that you’ll be able to enjoy is the $0 annual fee. It’s always a pleasure not to have to worry about an annual fee hitting your account when you’ve forgotten all about it. This card will also not charge you for any foreign transactions you conduct while you’re traveling. Your cash rewards are perhaps the best part of card ownership. You can earn 3% cashback on all of your dining and entertainment ventures. You can also earn 2% cash back on your grocery shopping. You’ll get 1% cash back in every other category, and there will be no limit to the amount that you can earn. Additionally, the card company will give you a $150 bonus if you spend $500 on the card in the first three months that you have it. That sounds like a deal that you shouldn’t ignore.

Capital One Venture One Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture One Rewards Credit CardCapital One offers quite a few credit card options to the masses. The Venture One Rewards Cards is yet another card that gives you a lot of perks and no hassle. It offers an introductory 0% APR for the first 12 months that you own the card. The difference between this card and other cards is that it also offers points that you can use for traveling. You’ll earn 1.25 miles for every dollar you spend on your purchases. You will also get a bonus of 20,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in the first three months that you have the card. 20,000 miles are equal to about $200 of travel.

This card has many more features for you to enjoy. For one, the regular APR is 14.49% – 24.49%, which is a bit lower than the ones on some of the other cards. You can also use your miles to travel whenever you want to travel. You won’t have to worry about blocks or blackout dates when you want to go somewhere. This card also has no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, and no foreign transaction fee. That’s a lot of no’s for a credit card, and we think you should take advantage of that. Another “no” that this card offers is no penalty APR. You don’t have to worry about being punished for being late on your payment for one month. This might be an excellent card for you to try to grab. Consumers have rated it with four out of five stars on some of the top credit card categories.

Get Approved for 0% Intro APR Credit Cards

Those are just a few of the cards that you can qualify for that have a 0% APR introductory offer. As you can see, most of them have high FICO score requirements. Don’t fret if you’re not quite in the credit category to qualify. You can take several actions to increase your score so that you can get one of these great cards in your hand.

First, you should apply for an easy-to-get credit card with a low initial credit line on it if you don’t already have one. You can qualify for several unsecured cards. Once you get approved for one, you can use it to build your credit score up so that you can get approved for 0% intro APR cards in the future. All you have to do is make your payments on time each month and keep your utilization down below 30%. The credit card company will monitor your usage and payment history. Your credit score will go up each month you make a timely payment and keep your utilization low. After a while, you’ll start getting offers from credit card companies you may have never heard of. You will be eligible for one of your favorite 0% intro APR cars as well. Work hard and continue to have faith. You’ll get to where you need to be soon enough.

Final Thoughts

You can start applying for 0% intro APR credit cards right now, and you can have one in your hands in about two weeks. You can also contact us and let us help match you up with a credit card that will be perfect for you. We are not a lender, but we are an advocate. We help consumers find a wide variety of financial products and services they need. Loanry can assist you in finding credit cards, consolidation loans, personal loans, car notes, and more. We can also help you get access to debt recovery products and services. Just reach out to us and tell us what you need. We’ll be delighted to help you grab hold of it.

Difference Between Debit Cards and Credit Cards Explained

Businessman in suit and glasses giving credit card to woman

At first glance, it may seem like a silly question. Debit cards allow you to, you know… debit stuff. Credit cards, on the other hand, offer you, um… credit.

Yeah, it’s not such a silly question after all – especially if you’re trying to decide when to use which option. So we’re going to take a moment to consider the benefits and potential pitfalls of each, along with some specific “compare and contrast” along the way. Debit cards and credit cards both have their uses and advantages. But like any financial tool, it’s all about how they’re used.

Difference Between Debit Cards and Credit Cards

Debit cards and credit cards certainly LOOK the same. They’re the same size, have the same 16-digit numbers across the front, many of the same logos and designs. And they fit into the same little machines the same basic way. In the past year, it’s certainly felt like they both require swiping when you try to insert them chip-first. And either one requires inserting chip-first if you try to swipe!

And to be fair, debit cards were largely designed to look and in many ways operate like credit cards. Or at least to be usable anywhere you could use a credit card. That’s part of what makes them so convenient. Just to muddy the waters further, more debit cards are trying to incorporate some of the advantages of credit cards, and vice versa. No wonder it’s easy to get confused!

Still, it’s probably worth taking a step back and considering some of the important ways in which debit cards and credit cards are fundamentally different. Many may seem obvious to you, but others you may not have thought about recently. Let’s start with the biggie…

Debit vs. Credit: The “Debit” Part

The most important difference between debit cards and credit cards, not surprisingly, is where the money comes from. While we like to pretend that anything we pay for with plastic is somehow “free,” that is of course not the case.

Your debit card is tied to your checking account. It was originally designed to replace or supplement the fading practice of writing checks. It was a win-win for customers and businesses alike. It’s much easier to use the little card with your information already magically encoded in that funny strip on the back than to mess with writing out a paper check. With a debit card, you get a receipt; with a check, you’d get a carbon – or maybe not even that. For businesses, once the card is processed, if it’s approved, it’s approved. The money is instantly debited from your account – hence the name. The deal is done, with no danger the money will somehow go away after you leave. With a check, there’s always the possibility it will bounce and the merchant will be stuck trying to track you down to make good on it.

Because a debit card is essentially a “check” streamlined into credit card form, it’s pretty difficult to spend more than you have in the bank. How much you can spend is dictated by how much you have in the bank. Sure, you may have overdraft protection or some arrangement by which your savings account acts as a backup for your checking, but even in those cases, you’re paying immediate penalties in addition to funds being taken out of your account to pay the merchant or other service. There’s no telling yourself you’ll pay it back later, over time, etc. That’s simply not how they work.

Debit Card Limit

The flip side of this, of course, is that if you don’t have the money to pay for something, you don’t have the money. You can’t have it, whether it’s yet another pair of shoes or penicillin from grandma. You pay zero interest on purchases with your debit card because interest is the cost of borrowing money, and you’re not borrowing – you’re spending.

Debit vs. Credit: The “Credit” Part

Credit cards, on the other hand, offer exactly what the name implies – credit. How much you can spend is dictated by your credit score and credit history, particularly your credit history with that specific card. The longer you have a card without defaulting completely on your payments, the higher they’ll nudge up your spending limit, even if your balance has never ever actually gotten lower no matter how long you’ve been paying.

Every time you use your credit card, you’re taking out a loan. It’s a revolving loan, meaning that as you pay it back, the money becomes available to you again to borrow on the same terms. This is an amazingly flexible source of financing. But you pay for that convenience with relatively high-interest rates compared to other types of loans. The exception, of course, is if you pay your balance in full each month. You pay no interest that way because your payment is so timely, it’s like you’re not actually borrowing.

Credit Card Balance

In other words, people like my wife who pay their credit card balance in full every month are essentially using it like a debit card – one with a 30-day delay between using the money and the funds coming out of their account. Why would they bother if there’s little difference between debit cards and credit cards when used this way? Because going cashless is an easy way to keep track of your spending and take advantage of the protections and rewards of a credit card without paying credit card interest rates.

You don’t normally hear about people working themselves into despair trying to conquer debit card debt. I’m pretty sure that would be impossible. On the other hand, debit cards are limited to what you actually have available right this moment. They’re far less dangerous because they’re far less flexible. You may recall Uncle Ben’s warning to Spiderman – the one about “with great power comes great responsibility”? He could easily have been talking about the difference between debit cards and credit cards.

I mean, probably not – but he has shot right afterward, so you can’t exactly prove me wrong. Plus, he was fictional, so I have that in my favor as well.

Other Benefits to Debit Cards (There Are A Few!)

Debit cards are by design fairly “no frills,” which is in fact their primary benefit. There are a few other advantages worth considering, however.

The biggest is probably the ease of withdrawing cash from your checking account or any connected accounts and pretty much any ATM in the universe. Those outside your bank’s network may charge you a few dollars to do so, but it’s pretty hard to find a town so small that there’s not at least one automated teller tucked away somewhere. In any city large enough to have a few chain stores, it seems like they’re on every corner and in every convenience store.

Sure, easy access to cash can be a temptation, but it’s not so different than using your debit card directly. And you can’t out more than you have in your account, minus whatever overdraft arrangements you pay a hefty fee for with your bank or credit union.

Taking Cash From Credit Cards is a Bad Idea

Most credit cards allow you to take out cash as well, but it’s almost universally a horrible idea. That’s not what they were created to do, and they’re not very good at it. The fees tend to be high, and the interest rates on cash withdrawals are usually brutal – almost like they’re punishing you for not coming up with a better plan. You should be well informed about credit cards before you take one of them.

You’re better off taking out a personal loan of some sort if you really need the cash. Or sell plasma or your old comic book collection. Better yet, suggest your significant other sells THEIR plasma and collectibles. If they really love you, they’ll do it. But there are few if any situations in which taking out a cash advance on a traditional credit card is a good plan.

The only other advantage sometimes cited is that you’re rarely asked to sign a screen these days when using your debit card. More typically, all you have to do is enter your 4-digit PIN and you’re good to go.

Other Benefits to Credit Cards (There are Several!)

There are so many types of credit cards these days. It’s difficult to discuss them collectively without acknowledging that everything I’m about to say as several exceptions out there. In general, however, there are some important distinctions between debit cards and credit cards when it comes to the frills and features.

I mentioned a moment ago that withdrawing cash on your credit card is a horrible idea, and it is. So is spending beyond your actual limit compared to your allowed-by-the-issuing-card-company limit. Just because they’ll let you use up to $12,000 or whatever doesn’t mean you should ignore your perfectly clear budget and start spending with plastic because the card company says so. They’re not necessarily evil or anything, but they probably have different priorities than you do. Let’s just leave it at that for now, shall we?

Planes, Trains, and Amazon

Long-distance transactions, on the other hand, or charges in which the final total can’t be determined upfront, are great times to use a credit card. When you’re booking a flight, reserving a hotel, or renting a vehicle, you’ll definitely want to use a good old-fashioned credit card. Part of this is convenience. You may have noticed when you check in to a hotel, you asked to provide a credit card for “incidentals.” This is the hotel’s way of covering any pay-per-view movies your kids watch after you go to sleep, any stuff you “accidentally” take with you from the room, or potential damages if you go all “rock star” and start breaking things.

Even if you don’t end up incurring extra charges, a “hold” goes on your card for some predetermined amount – $50 or $100 is typical. On a credit card, this is no big deal. You’ll probably never notice it happened. With a debit card, however, that preset amount is “claimed” until they’re sure they don’t need to charge you. At that point, those funds go back into your available balance. But it’s not always immediate and it can be quite inconvenient if you need access to those dollars.

The PIN-less and the Fraud

Credit card fraud is becoming common and you must be very careful. Most credit cards come with pretty decent “fraud protection” as well. Doing business online or over the phone is inherently risky. Although, it’s a minimal risk, it’s still higher than walking into your local merchant and paying cash. And we’ve all heard the horror stories about stolen identities and credit card numbers on the “dark web” and all that. And of course, there are always the classic “lost or stolen” scenarios as well.

As long as you act in good faith and report any problems as quickly as possible to the issuing company, most cards offer you pretty thorough coverage. Your local bank or credit union will no doubt try to do right by you as well if something happens with your debit card or checking account. But it’s a very different problem when the actual cash has already been removed from your account in some form or another than when those same numbers show up on a credit card statement you haven’t paid yet.

Credit Card fraud protection tips

Cash Back, Miles, Points, and Other “Rewards”

There’s no end to the varieties of “rewards” programs out there on various credit cards. Which ones appeal to you, or whether any of them do, depends on your spending habits and personal preferences. They are, so far, specific to credit cards, however.

While nothing’s impossible, it would be difficult for debit cards to offer anything comparable because debit cards make very little money from your using them. They’re convenience so you’ll do business with your chosen bank or credit union. Credit cards, on the other hand, make a fortune off of your spending, meaning (a) intense competition between card companies and endless efforts to make THEIR card stand out from all the others.

Before taking out a new credit card, you should avail yourself of one of our online tools to compare various card features. And gather the relevant credit card information for yourself. I could tell you what I like, but in this case, that’s not all that helpful. As with so many things, we’re here to provide information and connections. The actual decisions are entirely up to you. I WOULD suggest you actively seek out the information you’re interested in and proactively make your decision. If you find yourself tempted by some random offer you’ve received online or in the mail, at least make sure you ask the right questions before choosing convenience over careful consideration.

Giving Yourself Some Credit

There’s one last benefit to using a credit card, at least periodically. Because credit cards are a type of loan, making regular payments on your balance(s) helps build or rebuild your credit. You probably don’t want to buy stuff just to build a credit history. But if you’re making a medium-sized purchase anyway and know you can handle the payments, you might consider charging it.

The stronger your credit score, the better the terms available to you down the road. The more positive credit history you build, the easier it is for you to borrow for the important stuff – homes, automobiles, vacations, weddings, etc. – at much better rates in the future. Debit cards are wonderful because they don’t let you go in debt by using them. But because they’re not a form of debt, they don’t impact your credit score one way or the other.

Conclusion

You may choose to have only one credit card and use it sparingly. You might opt to have several and use different cards for different purposes. Also, you don’t necessarily have to choose. Although, very few people have good reason to need more than a couple of credit cards at any one time. In the end, though, it’s your call what combination of debit cards and credit cards you wish to carry.

The most common way to get a debit card is through your local bank or credit union, or wherever you have a checking account. That same local bank or credit union no doubt offers several credit card options as well. Unlike debit cards, however, you can apply for credit cards from dozens of different places. And yes, we’re one of those places.

Don’t worry – I’m not pushing a credit card offer on you. We don’t even issue them. What we do have, however, is a carefully curated database of reputable online institutions which do, and with whom we’ve arranged to connect some of our favorite customers if they so choose. Because of the low overhead and nationwide reach possible with the internet, the rates and terms are surprisingly competitive.

You know we’re here if you need us. Now, go make great financial choices!

11 Airline Credit Cards To Get You Off The Ground

Open traveler's bag with clothing, accessories, credit card, tickets and passport

Many of us know what a credit card is and most of us know how to use them. When it comes to credit cards, it is important to remember to use them wisely so that you do not get yourself into a large amount of credit card debt. I would like to focus on the best types of credit cards and the rewards that are available with them in this article. There are many different credit cards available to you, so it is important for you to understand your needs when deciding which one is right for you. In this article, I am going to highlight the best airline credit cards, however, I will give you some information about other types of rewards that credit cards may offer to you.

Best Airline Credit Cards For Your Flight

Before I jump into the best airline credit cards, I would like to mention a few points to you. First, please keep in mind that it is very important to know to avoid any credit card mistakes. The best way to do this is to pay off your credit card balance each month. While I understand that may not be possible for everyone every month, but it should be your goal as much as possible. If you know that you will not be able to pay off your credit card this month, you should consider whether or not you should use your credit card to purchase something. Next, you should remember when you use your credit card, you have to repay that money. If you do not pay off your credit card each month, then you will be charged interest for the balance that is left on the credit card.

When looking for credit cards, you will find that there are many different types available to you. It can become overwhelming when you are trying to select the proper credit card for you at this time. You should understand that your needs may change over time and the credit card you select today may not be the same one that works for you in six months. Consider what it is that you really want from a credit card and how you plan to use it. If you plan to pay off your credit card each month, the interest rate may not be as important to you. If you plan to carry a balance, then the interest rate is incredibly important. You may be interested in the other benefits that a credit card may offer you.

11 Top Airline Credit Cards

When you are considering airline credit cards, you should be sure to check out these credit cards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

One of the airline credit cards you should consider is a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which has an interest rate varying from 17.49 percent to 24.49 percent. You can earn 60,000 bonus points once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of having the account open. That equals about $750 towards travel when you redeem through Ultimate Rewards. You gain 2 times the points on travel and restaurants and 1 point for each dollar spent on other purchases. You can also earn 5 times the points for Lyft rides through the month of March of 2022. When you redeem your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you get 25 percent more value from them. This card also offers unlimited deliveries and reduced service fees with DashPass, a subscription service of DoorDash.

Discover it Miles

Discover It Miles credit card is another one of the top airline credit cards you should consider. This card gives you an unlimited bonus of matched miles at the end of your first year. If you earn 10,000 miles, Discover doubles it so you have 20,000 miles, which is equal to $200 towards your travel. You also earn 1.5 miles for every dollar you spend on purchases. The miles you can earn are unlimited and this card does not have an annual fee. There is no limit to the dates for which you can use the miles. If you do not want to use your miles for travel, you can simply get cashback.

The Discover It card has a mobile app that gives you quick access to your account, including the ability to freeze your account. This app also gives you a free credit score and reports. This card also protects you from fraud by giving your alerts if your information is used on fraudulent websites. You can activate this service for free. This card comes with a variable interest rate from 13.49 to 24.49 percent.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards is another one of the airline credit cards that you should consider. You can earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase. You get a 50,000-mile bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases in 3 months from opening your account, which is $500 towards travel. The miles never expire and there is no limit to how many miles you can earn. This card does not have an annual fee for the first year, but then it is $95 every year thereafter. It has a variable interest rate of 17.24 to 24.49 percent.

Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express is another one of the airline credit cards for your consideration. It does not have an annual fee. You earn 2 times the miles for every dollar you spend at Delta. You also earn 2 times the miles for every dollar spent at restaurants and 1 mile for every dollar you spend on all other purchases. This Delta card gives you a bonus of 15,000 miles after you make $1,000 worth of purchases within the first three months of opening your credit card account. There are no foreign transaction fees with this card. It has a variable interest rate of 15.74 to 24.74 percent.

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express is another one of the airline credit cards for your consideration. It does not have an annual fee for the first year and then $99 after that. You earn 2 times the miles for every dollar you spend at Delta, restaurants, and grocery stores. Then you earn 1 mile for every dollar you spend on all other purchases. This Delta card gives you a bonus of 60,000 miles after you make $2,000 worth of purchases within the first three months of opening your credit card account. You also earn another 10,000 miles on your first anniversary. It has a variable interest rate of 15.74 to 24.74 percent.

United Explorer Card

The United Explorer Card is another one of the airline credit cards for your consideration. It does not have an annual fee for the first year and then $95 after that. You earn 2 times the miles for every dollar you spend at restaurants and hotels. You earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend with United and 1 mile for every dollar you spend on all other purchases. This United Explorer card gives you a bonus of 60,000 miles. You also earn another 10,000 miles on your first anniversary. It has a variable interest rate of 17.99 to 24.99 percent.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card is another one of the airline credit cards for your consideration. It has an annual fee of $75. You earn 3 times the miles for every dollar you spend on Alaska Airlines purchases. You earn 1 mile for every dollar you spend on all other purchases. This Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card gives you a bonus of 40,000 miles and a $100 credit on your statement. It has a variable interest rate of 17.49 to 25.49 percent.

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card has no annual fee. You earn 2 times the miles for every dollar you spend on American Airlines purchases. You earn 2 miles for every grocery store purchase and 1 mile for every dollar you spend on all other purchases. This American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card gives you a bonus of 10,000 miles and a $50 credit on your statement after $500 of purchases within the first 3 months of having your credit card open. It has a variable interest rate of 15.99 to 24.99 percent.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card offers you 2 times the points for every dollar you spend on Southwest purchases. You earn 1 point for every dollar you spend on all other purchases. This Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card gives you a bonus of 40,000 points after $1,000 of purchases within the first 3 months of having your credit card open. You receive 3,000 points on your anniversary. It has a variable interest rate of 17.49 to 24.49 percent.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card offers you 2 times the points for every dollar you spend on Southwest purchases. You earn 1 point for every dollar you spend on all other purchases. This Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card gives you a bonus of 40,000 points after $1,000 of purchases within the first 3 months of having your credit card open. You receive 7,500 points on your anniversary. You also get $75 travel credit with Southwest each year. It has a variable interest rate of 17.49 to 24.49 percent.

Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card offers you 3 times the miles for every dollar you spend on Delta purchases. You earn 1 mile for every dollar you spend on all other purchases. It does have an annual fee of $550. This Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card gives you a bonus of 100,000 miles and then another 80,000 miles after $5,000 of purchases within the first 3 months of having your credit card open. You receive 20,000 points on your anniversary. You also get $75 travel credit with Southwest each year. It has a variable interest rate of 15.74 to 24.74 percent.

How Should I Compare Credit Cards?

When looking at the various credit cards, you should consider all airline credit cards as well as compare credit cards for good credit. You may also want to consider using a credit card comparison chart when deciding which card is right for you.

Some Points to Consider When Comparing Credit Cards

Make sure that you know the bank that is offering the credit card to you. It should be one that is reputable and with whom you are familiar. You want to make sure the offer is not fraudulent, or someone just trying to take your money. You should make sure that any credit card you select matches your expectations and needs. If you want to transfer a balance, it does not make sense for you to select a card that does not allow them. You should not sign up for a credit card that you do not need. This may hurt your credit score. You want to make sure that you understand the fee schedule with the card. All credit cards must disclose all of the fees that they charge and the rate of the fee.

You should make sure you pick a card that does not have an annual fee. This is a fee the credit card company charges you simply to use their card. Unless they are offering some major perks that more than pay for the fee, you should avoid annual fees. You should understand that interest associated with any card you are considering. If you are confident that you will pay off your card every month, this may not be as important to you. However, there may come a month or two with unexpected expenses and you cannot pay off your credit card, so you should be aware of the interest. If you already know you are only going to make the minimum payment, you need a card with a low interest rate.

Look at all the programs and rewards that the credit cards offer. You want to make sure you have a complete understanding of the credit card and what it can provide for you. You may have two credit cards that seem very similar and it may come down to the rewards and protections they offer. Also, you want to understand when the points expire and when you can redeem them. If there are any limitations, you want to be aware of those, also. Always read the fine print. Credit card companies must disclose everything to you, but they do not have to do it in the largest font available. It is your responsibility to read all the documents and understand what you are agreeing to.

What Are The Benefits To An Airline Card?

Airline credit cards offer some additional perks. The most common perk being the miles a card offers. The more you spend with your credit, the more miles you accrue. Typically, the credit card company and the airlines create a partnership to determine the value of a mile. The airline determines how many miles you need for a flight and when you have enough you can redeem your miles for a plane ticket, or you can reduce the cost of a ticket. You may also qualify for extra perks such as seating upgrade, early boarding, or additional tickets at a discounted price. It is important to know that if you purchase an item and gain miles, but then return the item, you may have the miles associated with that purchase removed. If you are behind in paying your credit card bill, you may not be able to use your miles.

Your miles are reflected in your statements or in your credit card account, so you should always be able to see how many miles you have. The credit card may have a mileage requirement, which means you need to accrue a certain number of miles before you can redeem your miles. You should always read the fine print to make sure you understand exactly how you can use your miles.

Conclusion

There are a large number of airline credit cards available to you today. It is important that you read all of the fine print and understand all of the details around the credit card in which you are interested. You always want to pay attention to the annual fee and any other fees that the credit card company charges. You want to make sure you make the right choice for you.

Best Airline Credit Cards to Get You Off the Ground

Stack of traveling luggage in airport terminal and passenger plane flying over sky

Are you ready to explore the world? Whether you travel frequently for business or always look forward to your next vacation, airline credit cards are the great choice for saving on airline miles and other travel expenses is essential. You want to spend less on transportation and hotels so that you can spend more on experiences that create memories you’ll never forget.

7 Airline Credit Cards to Get You Off the Ground for Less

Airline credit cards are a subcategory of travel credit cards that allow you to earn free airline miles and other perks. They can substantially reduce the cost of travel if you fly even occasionally. You may also use your airline credit cards to book more direct flights or bump your seat up to first class. The more miles you accumulate, the more comfortable your flights may become.

Get ready to explore some of the leading airline credit cards available today! The first step to selecting a credit card is to compare credit cards online. We compiled a list of some of the most rewarding credit cards to get you started.

1. Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express CardDelta may become your preferred airline if you’re looking for airline credit cards that give you a variety of options to earn miles. You can earn two miles for every dollar spent at restaurants and supermarkets, and the same deal extends to all purchases with Delta. If you spend at least $10,000 on your card over the course of one calendar year, you can earn an additional $100 in-flight credits.

The Delta Gold credit card also entitles you to one free checked bag and access to priority boarding when you fly with Delta. Redeeming your points is easy because you can pay with the miles rather than waiting for credits or cash to hit your account before you can book a trip.

Pros:

  • Earn miles and flight credits
  • Earn free bag checks and priority boarding
  • Annual fee is one of the lowest offered by Delta
  • Pay with your miles

Cons:

  • $99 annual fee after the first year
  • Lowest APR is more than 16%
  • Good to excellent credit required

2. JetBlue Credit Card

JetBlue Credit CardJetBlue offers one of the most competitive airline credit cards because it allows you to earn miles for every purchase made with the card. Many cards limit your rewards miles to select purchases, but you will earn at least one mile for every dollar that you charge on this card. That makes it a great choice for an everyday credit card. You can use it for all of your daily purchases and then pay it off by the end of the month to accumulate points quickly without paying interest.

All of your JetBlue purchases will earn you three points per dollar. Purchases at restaurants and supermarkets will earn you two points per dollar spent. All other purchases are limited to one point per dollar spent.

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • 10,000 bonus points intro offer
  • Earn points on all purchases
  • 50% off some inflight purchases

Cons:

  • Not chip enabled

3. Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express CardForbes recognized this card as one of the best airline credit cards for first-time airline card-holders. It allows you to earn unlimited airline miles, and they never expire. There are also no blackout dates when scheduling your rewards flights. That means you don’t have to plan your travel dates around your airline miles.

Delta requires an annual fee of $550 on some of their rewards cards, but this one requires no annual fee. Other cards may offer more lucrative rewards programs, but you have to consider that high annual fee when determining which ones will save you the most on travel.

Delta often offers thousands of bonus miles for those opening cards during promotional periods. Comparing credit card rates and rewards programs online is a great first step, but make sure to check for temporary promotions to see if you can grab some extra miles just by timing your application correctly.

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • No blackout or expiration dates

Cons:

  • Lowest APR is over 16%
  • Excellent credit score required

4. Capital One Venture Rewards Card

Capital One Venture Rewards CardWhile Capital One requires an excellent credit score, this credit card lender is known to accept credit rates that are immediately denied by many others. The card comes with a lot of perks even though it does have a $95 annual fee that kicks in starting your second year. For starters, you can make purchases outside of the United States without any added fees.

You can also transfer earned points to other Capital One rewards programs. If you have other rewards credit cards from this lender, you may have the option of transferring points earned on those cards to your Venture cared as well, which allows you to save even more on travel expenses. All points earned on this card are redeemable for airline miles, hotel stays and a variety of additional travel expenses. That gives you more flexibility when redeeming your rewards.

You will earn two points for every dollar spent on this card. The type of purchase doesn’t matter.

Pros:

  • Earn points on every purchase
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles
  • Annual fee waived the first year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Transfer points to other Capital One rewards programs

Cons:

  • Excellent credit score required
  • $95 annual fee after the first year
  • Interest rates start over 17%

5. Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card

Capital One VentureOne Rewards CardThis is the upgraded version of Capital One’s popular Venture credit card. You will need a high credit score to get approved, but the lack of an annual fee immediately saves you some money over the Venture card and many other airline credit cards. The VentureOne card also offers credit cards with low-interest rates. Interest under 15% for select consumers, which is lower than many other rewards cards.

You will earn 1.25 points for every point spent on this credit card. That’s a slight increase over the points rewarded for the Venture card. If you spend at least $1,000 in the first three months, you’ll also receive a bonus of 20,000 points. You can transfer those points to other Capital One Rewards programs as needed, allowing you to maximize savings if you have access to multiple cards from the lender.

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • 20,000-point introductory offer
  • Starting APR under 15%
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons:

  • Excellent credit score required

6. Alaska Airlines Signature Visa Card

Alaska Airlines Signature Visa CardIf you rarely travel alone, this is possibly one of the most lucrative airline credit cards for your wallet. It allows you to earn discounts on companion fare, so you’re not the only one who gets to fly for less. You earn this perk every year on your account anniversary, and companion fares start at $121 with no blackout dates. Your card also entitles you to a free checked bag, and up to six guests can share this perk when they check in with you.

All purchases made on this card will earn you one mile per dollar spent.  All purchases from Alaska Airlines will earn you three miles per dollar spent. When you buy day passes to airport lounges, you’ll pay half price when paying with your card, and inflight purchases are discounted by 20%. There is no limit to the number of miles you can earn, which makes this a great choice for a daily use card. Just make sure to pay your balance off each month to avoid paying interest.

Are you worried about timing your trips to take advantage of all miles earned before they expire? That madness is eliminated with this card because your miles never expire as long as your account is in active status. Your miles are redeemable with Alaska Airlines and a list of affiliated partners, including Korean Air, British Airways, and American Airlines.

Pros:

  • Earn discounts on companion airfare
  • Introductory rewards package offered
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles never expire
  • Not limited to Alaska Airlines

Cons:

  • $75 annual fee
  • Miles are limited to select airlines
  • Excellent credit score required

7. Chase United Explorer Card

Chase United Explorer CardThis is one of those airline credit cards that may not seem competitive at first glance. It does require higher interest rates than some of our other top picks, but it’s still worth considering if you travel with a companion at times or want to take advantage of travel perks beyond airline miles. Not only will you receive one free checked bag each time you fly, but your companion will receive the same benefit when checking in with you.

If you spend $3,000 or more on the card within your first three months, you’ll receive 60,000 bonus miles. The card allows you to earn at least one mile for every dollar spent, and you can earn two miles per dollar for all purchases from hotels and restaurants. You need to use your card to pay for your hotel stays directly through the hotel, so purchases from travel deal websites won’t earn you the miles. Purchases from United will also earn you two miles per dollar spent.

Chase offers some travel benefits that move beyond airline miles, which may make the card’s higher interest rates and annual fee worth the bargain. For instance, you’ll receive a statement credit of $100 every four years when you use your card to cover the application fee for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. Remember, the interest rate doesn’t matter much if you pay your charges off each month. This could work as a daily use card that delivers a lot of free miles, free checked bags and other travel-related discounts.

Pros:

  • Annual fee waived for the first year
  • Intro offer worth 60,000 bonus miles
  • Companion checked bag benefits
  • Earn miles for all purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Tap-to-pay technology
  • Other travel benefits for cardholders

Cons:

  • $95 annual fee after the first year
  • Interest rates start at close to 18%

LOANRY MAKES CREDIT CARDS SHOPPING SIMPLE AND FAST

Are Airline Credit Cards Available with the Shopping Trick?

The airline credit card factors to considerThe credit card shopping trick allows you to secure fast credit card approval for store cards. While shopping with select retailers, you’ll receive a popup asking if you want to apply for a credit card. If you accept the opportunity, you may receive an offer of credit instantly. In some cases, the offer is extended without a hard pull on your credit, but that isn’t always the case. Always assume you will receive a hard inquiry and consider it a plus if you don’t with some cards.

If you have bad credit, this trick may appeal to you, but there are some downsides. The cards offered are limited to those backed by select financial institutions, namely Comenity Bank. The big retail stores that you may shop regularly may not offer credit cards with approval through pop-ups, so you may end up with credit cards that you will rarely use. You won’t find many airline credit cards offered if any.

What the shopping card trick may do for you is help you re-establish your credit so that you can qualify for the airline credit cards you do want. If you open a few credit cards through the shopping trick and then make small purchases and pay them off each month, you can boost your credit score and prove you’re a responsible credit card user. Simply having those accounts open may also increase your available credit, which can help you achieve a lower utilization rate if you don’t charge them up.

That may open the door to the most lucrative rewards credit cards, which are often offered only to those with high credit scores and limited blemishes on their credit reports.

Are Airline Credit Cards the Best Type of Rewards Card?

Airline miles are valuable rewards for making everyday purchases with a credit card, but there are other types of rewards credit cards that may make traveling more affordable and/or comfortable. If you don’t fly frequently or just want to weigh your options before applying for credit cards, you should consider a few other reward card options before making your final decisions.

Other types of rewards credit cards worth considering include:

  • Gas Credit Cards – The number of genuine gas credit cards is dwindling, but you may still find one here and there. They allow you to redeem points for free gas fill-ups, which may reduce the cost of everyday driving or cut the expense of a road trip.
  • Cashback Credit Cards – These cards allow you to earn cash without limiting what you spend it on. You may receive the cash as a credit on your statement or cash transferred to your bank account. Some cards give you the option to transfer your rewards balance to gift cards for a variety of retail stores and restaurants, which you could apply to food expenses and other supplies needed while traveling.
  • Luxury Credit Cards – Some luxury cards will give you access to VIP lounges and other upscale perks that make traveling more comfortable. If you only want to secure one rewards credit card, weigh the perks of a luxury carefully against the option to simply earn miles toward your next flight.

If you travel a lot or would travel more if it were affordable, you may secure multiple reward cards to enjoy a wider variety of benefits. One strategy is to use credit cards for everyday purchases and then pay the cards off within the same month. Instead of using money from your debit card or cash to make those purchases, you simply pay with a credit card to earn the rewards. And then use your bank account to pay it off so you don’t carry debt and pay interest.

Conclusion

Some airline credit cards have annual fees while others make it more difficult to redeem points earned. It’s important to figure out those cons before you start actively using the card. The most ideal airline credit cards will minimize fees while making the reward redemption process quick and easy. If there are too many restrictions on how you may redeem your rewards, you may never get the rewards that you worked so hard to earn.

Credit Cards for Dummies for Those That Aren’t Dummies

Searching for a credit card is a bit like trying to find the perfect outfit. It’s an intensely personal experience. In other words, the credit card you choose should be a reflection of your financial situation as well as your current credit status. If you don’t have A1 credit you can’t apply for a platinum gold Mastercard. You need to know your creditworthiness and what type of credit card you can realistically expect to be approved for.  With this being said, it’s a good idea to do your homework before you go ham and just start applying for credit. A little education about credit cards can go a long way and put you on the path to building a strong credit history if you’re proactive.

Starter Pack of Information About Credit Cards

In simple terms, credit is simply a loan. You are using a bank’s money to make purchases that you agree to pay for later. Most credit cards bill credit cardholders every month. This means that you are required to make a minimum payment on your credit card account once a month. You can carry a balance or you can pay the total balance in full. As long as you are making your minimum payments on time, your credit can grow.

However, other factors come into play, like how much you’ve spent on your credit cards and how many other credit cards you have. Although the concept of a loan is simple, other factors can make credit a little confusing.  One of the things that many young people may view as an adult rite of passage is getting a credit card. Even if you’re not a young person, choosing to start using credit, particularly if you’re new to it, can be both exciting and scary. However, it doesn’t have to be. Investing a little time in securing a fundamental understanding of how credit works are all you need. t’s important to know when you have a limited understanding of a topic.

A credit cards for dummies mindset helps you seek education before choosing a credit offer.

Let’s Dive Into the Ocean of Q&A Related to Credit Cards

Credit cards for dummies teaches the uneducated credit seeker to look at the details. You need to be careful and try to avoid credit card mistakes. We’ve learned that credit use is similar to borrowing money from a bank. In essence, that little plastic card acts as cash allowing you to make online purchases as well as purchases at stores and other retailers. The balance you create is interest-bearing, however. Most cards offer users a twenty to a thirty-day grace period. This means that if the balance is paid in full each month by the due date your purchases are interest-free.

However, you aren’t required to pay off the balance in full. You comply with the guidelines of the creditor if you pay the minimum balance by the due date every month. However, failure to male payments by your due date as well as failure to pay the minimum amount required reflects poorly on your creditworthiness and could damage your credit. Plus, you should keep in mind that the interest on your unpaid balance is growing monthly. If you’re not at least paying the minimum amount due, you could end up paying substantially more than the original amount of your purchases due to the interest that credit cards carry when balances aren’t paid in full.

Getting to the Bottom of It…

Credit can be tricky. Credit cards for dummies ideology encourages research and smart planning when it comes to credit. This is why its best to have a plan, process, and strategic approach when it comes to weeding through credit card offers. Truthfully, most sound so appealing, from cashback offers to free air miles, it can be quite confusing to navigate which credit card is worth your time. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take to determine if a credit card is for you as well as if its al that it’s chopped up to be. As you open the letter with your credit card offer or read a new email detailing your credit card offer, your credit savvy education can come to your rescue.

There are several questions you should answer and consider to help guide your choice:

Is the credit offer unsolicited and from an unfamiliar bank?

If so, do your homework. It’s not uncommon for scam artists to craft enticing emails and letters to get your personal information. Do your research to determine the legitimacy of the offer. Credit cards for dummies explores different credit offers and focuses on teaching consumers how to choose the best credit offers for themselves.

Does the credit offer meet your needs?

If you know you need a card that offers balance transfers and a low APR, make sure that the card offer you’re considering has the elements of what you’re looking for. It may be a great card offer but if it doesn’t meet your specific needs, its not the card for you. The credit cards for dummies approach forced the consumer to become extremely personal and hyper-focused on their unique situation and whether or not a credit offer is truly for them.

Is the fee schedule clearly outlined and do you agree with the terms?

Many people don’t even look at a credit card fee schedule in detail. They may study the APR but don’t look at the nuts and bolts of an offer. This is important. Does the card charge exorbitant late fees? Are some of the fees strange or unusual? Most importantly, are you in agreement with the types of fees associated with the credit card? These are loaded questions that you must answer for yourself to proceed. People who are intimidated by numbers may shy away from understanding or even looking at the fee schedule. However, this is a mistake. You don’t want to be a dummy when it comes to your credit. Credit cards for dummies encourages education in the place of willing ignorance.

Does the card have an annual fee and how does it stack up against offers without an annual fee?

Do the math on this one. It will help you to make a decision. You can answer many financial decisions in regards to credit offers by being willing to take a close look at all the fees that come with a card. Credit cards for dummies help people that aren’t in the know learn about credit and make better choices.

If the credit card offer includes the lure of rewards, are these rewards truly relevant to you?

Many credit card offers come with the perk of reward offers attached to making certain purchases. This is an area where you need to pay close attention. If your credit card offers rewards for items or items that you don’t typically buy, it may not be worth pursuing. If you are a person who flies a lot, a card that offers free mileage as a reward for your purchases may be a useful card for you. Selecting a credit card is an intensely personal experience that should take into consideration your lifestyle, budget and spending habits, as well as your preferences. Be honest with yourself. Not all that glitters is gold. Credit cards for dummies sheds light on how valuable an offer or offers are to your unique situation and challenges you to make sober decisions.

Does the credit card offer other benefits that may be of value?

Does your credit offer mention travel protection or purchase protection? These are both examples of additional benefits that may or may not be attractive to you. Regardless, use the benefits offered to help you decide on the card, along with all the other details. These additional benefits may have a practical use for you. Consider them when choosing a credit card. Credit cards for dummies seeks to eliminate confusion and educate consumers.

Is the credit card’s payment network widely accepted?

You may receive a great credit card offer from a payment network that isn’t widely accepted. For example, Visa and Mastercard are the two most widely accepted payment networks. although Discover and other networks may still be accepted, you may run into trouble with retailers or shops that don’t accept these less popular payment networks. YOu will need to consider how this might impact your ability to use the card in the way that you want to. If you don’t plan on using the card for a wide variety of purchases, having a card with a payment network that’s not widely accepted may not be a big deal. However, as an uneducated person, credit cards for dummies encourages consumers to consider this aspect of a credit offer as well.

Does the credit card offer align with your credit score?

This is very important. You may get an American Express credit offer in the mail. However, your 460 credit score probably makes it highly unlikely that you’ll be approved for this card. Be honest and realistic with yourself. Applying for credit that you’re not eligible for only hurts you by creating an unnecessary inquiry on your credit profile. You don’t need that. Choose the credit offers you apply for wisely. Do your research. Determine the target credit score that these creditors are most likely to serve and extend credit to. If its not your credit score or tier, move on to something more appropriate for you. Credit cards for dummies push consumers to make smart educated decisions when it comes to choosing credit cards that will best serve them. All credit offers aren’t created equal and some offers are better suited for you than others.

Does the interest rate make the credit offer a practical choice for you and your spending and payment habits?

This is a big one. If you’re not one to pay off the entire balance on your credit cards monthly, you may need to ask yourself if getting a credit card with a high-interest rate is practical for you. If you’re someone who gets by making the minimum payment, you’ll be paying through the nose for your purchases if you choose a card with a high-interest rate. OCbeversley, if you’re someone who typically doesn’t carry a balance, the interest rate may not be as significant to you. This is a personal question that demands your honesty. This could be the difference between paying considerably more for an item purchased on credit or paying considerably less based on the interest rate.

Have you read ALL of the fine print?

This can be boring and tedious but it’s necessary when it comes to making an educated and informed choice about a credit offer. You will thank yourself later if you do your homework. The fine print will detail everything that will come with accepting this credit card offer. The fine print details fees, the fee schedule, benefits, and rewards, as well as a whole host of other details that you need to know if you want to be a cardholder. Consider this, you will only have to pour over the fine print once or twice to make an educated solid decision. However, the time you take to do this will be well worth it. You won’t be fooled or caught off guard. Plus, this allows you to ask any questions you may have about the credit offer before you apply.

Putting All the Pieces Together

All the questions that you consider regarding a credit card offer will help you to make a solid and informed choice about which credit cards will be best for you. It’s best to leave no stone unturned. The more you know the better. Many things aren’t readily apparent when it comes to evaluating a credit offer. This is why you should take your time and read between the lines as much as possible. You can’t go wrong by doing this. After all, this is your financial health and future that you will be impacting when you make a credit card choice. It’s best to choose well.

For example, if you need brain surgery and need to choose between two or three different surgeons, yure going to want the one that specializes in your particular kind of brain surgery and has the credits and training to show it. Right? Although credit and brain surgery are two different things, you still need to make a choice that serves you and your unique situation well.

The prons and cons of credit cards

Late Payments, Missed Payments, and Maxed Out Credit Cards

As a new credit cardholder, it’s a good idea to get a firm understanding of one thing. If you don’t make your payments on time you will tarnish your credit history. On the other hand, paying off a credit card balance on time can improve your credit score. Payment history comprises thirty-five percent of your credit score so it’s safe to assume that it’s pretty important to creditors. It’s common sense. If you loan someone money you want to know that you’re going to get it back, as promised. In essence, a credit card is a small plastic promise to pay back borrowed funds. It can help people in a pinch.

However, when it’s neglected and not handled properly, it can destroy your financial health and creditworthiness. If you miss payments, pay late, and /or use all the funds available on your credit card, you will be perceived as a credit risk if this becomes the way you handle credit in general. Be careful with your spending, honor the terms of your credit card, and pay your bill on time.

Calling All First Timers and Credit Card Newbies…

Now that you have a basic understanding of how credit works, you may be wondering how to choose and pursue the right credit card offers best suited for you. This is not difficult either. There are many tools to help you with this pursuit. You can use different tools to help you determine your best first credit card and you can also compare credit cards online. You should do both. Research and explore as much as possible because this will help you to find the credit card that is truly best for you. Loanry can help. We selecte credible credit card companies for you to consider.

Conclusion

Navigating credit card offers when you don’t know much can be a little intimidating. However, you don’t have to be intimidated if you don’t want to be. All you need is a little education and credit savvy along with the willingness to do your homework. Don’t be lazy and don’t take short cuts. Read the fine print. Research unfamiliar banks and understand the details of any credit offer before you apply. There are many tools that you can use to help guide your decisions. Many are free and most just require common sense and a willingness to pay attention to details.

 

The 7 Best Credit Cards That Give You a Sign-Up Bonus?

Just about every American over the age of 21 has a credit card. Many of us have more than one. It is rare to meet someone that does not have any credit card debt. It is possible but can be incredibly challenging. We live in a world where it is expected that you buy things on credit and pay them back over time. There are some benefits to having a credit card.

There are also some negatives to having one. The credit card itself is not the problem. The problem comes in when people do not use them responsibly. Whether this is your first credit card, or you have had them for a long time, you should make sure you use them in a way the benefits you and does not hurt you. When looking for a new credit card, you want to find one that works for you. The best way to do this is with one that has a sign-up bonus. Continue reading to find out all the information you need to know.

Top Credit Cards With The Sign-Up Bonus

A credit card is a square piece of plastic that has information embedded in it. The numbers on the card used to be raised but on other cards, they are just printed on the card. It also has your name on the card. The cards have a chip on the front and a magnetic stripe on the back. When you want to use it, you can swipe the card, insert it in a card reader, or tap it on the top of the card reader. When you do that, the machine is reading the information on the card, which includes your name, account information, and PIN number. The machine sends a message to the bank that funds your credit card company including the amount of your purchase. The bank responds with an approval or denial based on the available credit you have.

Take your time and do research. There are many cards that offer a sign-up bonus. Compare credit cards and understand each of them and pick the best one for you. I am going to list 7 of the top credit cards that you should check out on your quest for a card with a sign-up bonus.

Card Option #1: Citibank Double Cash Card

The first one is the Citibank Double Cash Card. This card is backed by Citibank, a well-known bank. It gives you two percent cash back on all purchases. You get one percent when you make the purchase and the other percent when you pay for the purchase. This card gives you an incentive for paying off your credit card each month, so you can get your cash-back faster. This card does not have an annual fee, so you do not have to pay to keep it. There are no caps to how much money you can get back. Just like most credit cards, you must pay the minimum amount on time.

The Double Cash Card is available for balance transfers, but you will not receive cash-back on transfers. You must make any balance transfer within the first four months of having the card. There is a charge of $5 or 3 percent of the balance transfer, whichever is higher. In the first 18 months, you have the card, you do have 0 percent interest, so you do not have to pay interest on the money you borrow for a year and a half. Another the first 18 months, you will have an interest rate of anywhere between 15.49 and 25.49 percent.

Card Option #2: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The next sign-up bonus credit card that you should consider is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. This card is usually reserved for those with good to excellent credit. You earn 2 times the miles on every purchase you make. There is no limit on how many miles you can earn. The miles you earn will not expire. Every 10,000 miles you earn is equal to about $100 dollars. The bonus for this card is once you spend $3,000 in the first three months after you open this credit card, you receive 50,000 miles. That is the equivalent to $500 in money for travel. You also receive a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Pre-check.

You are able to use your miles for any airline or any hotel at any time. There are no black dates when you cannot use your miles. You can also transfer your miles in more than 15 travel loyalty programs. This card does not have a foreign transaction fee. This card does have an annual fee of $95, but it is waived for the first year. The interest rate on this card is 17.24 to 24.49 percent. This card does not allow balance transfers.

Card Option #3: Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card

The next credit card with a sign-up bonus that you want to consider is the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card. This card gives you a one time $200 online cash rewards bonus. You only receive that once you make purchases of $1,000 and they must be in the first 90 days of opening this credit card account. This card has a tiered rewards program. You receive two percent back on grocery store purchases and wholesale club purchases. There is a limit of $2,500 cash-back on these purchases quarterly. You then receive three percent cash back on any category that you choose. You then get one percent back on all other purchases. This is unlimited so there is no cap on how much you can earn.

This card does not have an annual fee. If you are a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn up to 25 to 75 percent back on every single purchase. The rewards never expire. There is an intro rate of 0 percent interest for 15 billing cycles. There is also an intro 0 percent interest on all balance transfers made within 60 days. You have 0 percent interest on the amount you transfer for 15 billing cycles. After the 15 months, your interest rate may be 15.49 to 25.49 percent. After the 60 days, there is a minimum fee of $10, or 3 percent, for all balance transfers.

Card Option #4: Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

The next credit card with a sign-up bonus that you should check out is the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card. This card offers a high tiered rewards system that includes earning 3 times the points on dining, no matter if it is eating out or eating in. You get 3 times the points for all travel, which include airline flights, hotels, and car rentals. You earn 3 times the points on gas stations, public transportation, and ride-sharing. Also, there are 3 times the points on streaming services. All other purchases receive 1 times the points. The point system works so that every 10,000 points you receive equals $100.

If you make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months after you opened your credit card, you will earn 20,000 bonus points. That equals $200 in cash. This card does not have an annual fee. It also does not have a foreign currency charge. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card gives you 0 percent interest for 12 months. After that, you can expect an interest rate of 15.49 to 27.49 percent. It also offers you 0 percent interest on balance transfers for the first 12 months.

Card Option #5: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The next credit card with a sign-up bonus to consider is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. You can earn 5 times the points on all Lyft rides through March 2022. That is an additional 3 times the points added to the 2X points you already earn on travel. You also earn 2 times the points on dining out at restaurants worldwide. You receive 1 time the point on all other purchases. That means you get 1 point for every dollar you spend. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card gives you 60,000 bonus points once you have spent $4,000 on purchases. You must spend that within 3 months of opening the credit card account. That is up to $750 you can use for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

If you spend your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you get more value, up to 25 percent more. An example is 60,000 points equals $750 towards travel, whereas it would be $600 elsewhere. You can get $0 delivery charge when you make an order over $12 with DashPass, which is a subscription service with DoorDash. You must activate this by 12/31/21. This card does have an annual fee of $95. The interest rate is anywhere between 17.49 to 24.49 percent.

Card Option #6: Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card

The next card with a sign-up bonus that you should consider is Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card. It offers you 1.8 percent cash rewards on qualified digital wallet purchases, with services such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, which is within the first 12 months from when you opened your account. You also earn 1.5 percent cash on all purchases. It is an unlimited 1.5 percent. There are no categories and you do not have to sign up for any rewards, it happens automatically. The rewards do not expire.

This card offers a bonus of $150 cash rewards if you spend $500 in the first 3 months of opening your credit card. You can also receive up to $600 cell phone protection against damage (subject to restrictions) or theft. You must pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Wells Fargo to qualify for this protection. There is no annual fee. This card offers 0 percent interest for the first 15 months. The interest rate ranges from 15.49 to 27.49 percent after that.

Card Option #7: Citi Rewards Credit Card

The last card with a sign-up bonus that you should consider is the Citi Rewards Credit Card. You receive 2 times the points at grocery stores and gas stations for $6,000 per year. After that, it goes to 1 point for every dollar spent. You earn 1 point for every dollar for every other purchase. This Citi card rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase. There is no limit to the rounding up of your points. After you spend $1,000, you can earn 15,000 bonus points, as long as it is within 3 months of opening the credit card. You can use this for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com. This Citi card gives you 0 percent interest on all purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. The interest rate goes from 14.99 to 24.99 percent.

How To Pick A Credit Card?

There are many credit cards from which you can pick, so the key is finding one with the best sign-up bonus. You want a credit card that suits your needs. There is a credit card shopping trick or two that you should be aware of.

You should know the bank that is offering the credit card. Make sure it is a legitimate offer and not a scam. If you are not familiar with the bank that is offering you a credit card, you might want to look elsewhere. You should understand what you want in a credit card. Do you want one with rewards? Or perhaps one with a low-interest rate? Maybe you need one that will allow you to do balance transfers. You should be careful with how many credit cards you have. Too many with high balances will cause your credit score to decline.

You want to know what fees the bank may charge you. All of the fees must be listed in their documents. It is your responsibility to read and understand the fees. You must know when your payment is due and at what point the bank considers it late. Some cards have an annual fee, while many do not. Check to see if you want to have an annual fee. Then you have to decide if it is worth paying the fee. Some cards with an annual fee offer such good rewards that it might be worth it to you to pay the fee.

You have to understand that interest rates. You must know that if you do not have a 0 percent interest rate and you do not pay your balance every month, you will have to pay interest on your purchases. Be sure that you understand the rewards that come with any card you want. They are all different. Even each card that the bank offers are different from each other. You want to make sure that the rewards offered are ones that are meaningful to you. You also want to pick a credit card this is accepted anywhere you go.

Learn More About How Credit Cards Works

When you apply for a credit card, there is a bank that funds it. A credit card company gives you a revolving line of credit. The issue you a credit line of a certain amount of money. That is your credit limit. You can use as much of your credit limit as you want. You have to pay interest on the money you use. As you pay on the balance used, it becomes available to you. This is called recurring credit. If you pay the full amount you owe, you do not have to pay interest.

When you purchase something with your credit card, you have about 20 to 30 days to pay the full amount of your balance due. If you cannot pay the full amount, you should pay at least the minimum balance. If you do not pay the minimum balance, you will have to pay a fee on top of what you owe. Many cards offer a sign-up bonus, so you should look for that type of card. This is often the best first credit card you can find. You want a card that is going to work for you.

Conclusion

There are a number of credit cards that offer a sign-up bonus. The key is to find the right card for your situation. No matter which credit card you choose, you need to use it responsibly. You should work hard to pay off your credit card each month. If you cannot pay the full amount, you should pay as much as possible, and at least the minimum payment. It is important that you use your credit card so that it works for you and not against you.

Credit Cards For Building Credit When Credit is Due

Credit cards in leather wallet on wooden background

Most of us understand that credit is a vital part of our financial lives. Our creditworthiness can have an impact on everything from our ability to get a job, own a home, and everything in between. Using credit wisely is a key tool when it comes to building credit. Many people find themselves in two different positions. As a younger person, you may not have credit and maybe trying to establish credit. Conversely, you may have made credit mistakes and find yourself having to nurse your handicapped credit back to good health. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of different types of credit cards that make this possible.

Use Credit Cards to Build Your Credit

Credit cards allow us to acquire things without having to pay for them outright. That $600 flat screen can be purchased instantly and loaded into your trunk without you having to touch a dime of your actual money right away. You are allowed to enjoy your purchase and pay for it over time or at a later date when it’s more convenient for you.

In addition to being able to pay for things using the bank’s money initially, the more you handle your credit responsibly, the more of it you have access to. This means that if you are approved for a credit card with an initial thousand dollar limit and you honor the terms of the card, in as little as six months your credit limit might be increased two or three-fold. The benefits of using credit properly don’t stop there, however. Using credit responsibly also grows your credit score, showing the financial world that you’re a worthy risk for bigger purchases, like a home or a car. Credit can be a financially beneficial tool if it’s handled properly.

Before You Start Your Credit Card Hunt…

Before you apply for any credit card you should start by pulling your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies and going over it with a fine-tooth comb. If there are mistakes, you need to challenge or dispute them. It’s necessary to make sure that your credit report is accurate before you start your credit hunt. To improve your credit, you must first understand where you are in the credit game and what’s on your credit. Understand that several keys go into determining your creditworthiness and they include payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, as well as other variables.

Five Power Moves for Building or Rebuilding Credit

The path to rebuilding or building credit must be paved and lit using the correct information and knowing the best types of credit cards for your unique situation.

Review Your Credit Report

Check your credit report and make sure it’s accurate. You need to know what creditors have or haven’t reported about your credit usage habits. Moreover, you need to verify that what has been reported is accurate. If it’s not, take steps to dispute or challenge the inaccuracies.

Get a Good Credit Card

Secondly, GET A CREDIT CARD. Using credit is essential to building credit or rebuilding it. You will need to do your homework to determine which credit card is best for you if your aim is building credit. You can start by considering credit card companies below. These companies are reputable and trustworthy, and remember, Loanry is the best place you can go to for anything finance-related, including credit cards. So thank you for coming here, and we hope you’ll find the right credit card for you.

Pay Your Bills on Time

Third, pay your credit card bill on time. Part of creditworthiness is honoring the terms of your credit agreement. This includes paying your credit cards by the due date

Use Your Credit Carefully

Fourth, manage your credit utilization. In other words, don’t max out your credit cards. Credit card companies look at the amount of debt you have on all of your lines of revolving credit. This is the second most important factor when it comes to your creditworthiness. This is important because credit card companies don’t have access to your income information. Instead, they make decisions based upon how much of your credit you have used. For example, you may have three credit cards and each card has a $2,000 limit and all three have a used balance of at least $1,700. To creditors, your credit utilization is almost completely exhausted. This reflects poorly on your credit, particularly if you are seeking more. It may appear that you can’t truly afford the credit you do have and you’re using credit cards improperly.

Get to Know The Risk Factors

Last but not least, get acquainted with your risk factors. This may require spending a little money. You can pull your credit report but it won’t give you your credit score. What you need to know is your score and the negative factors that are affecting it. You can get a peek at your risk factors by paying for a full credit report. All three credit reporting agencies offer this as well as a report that delves into your credit risk factors. Your credit risk is evaluated by credit reporting agencies that consider over 300 risk factors.

To proactively build your credit, you need to know your risk factors. The details of these risk factors can function as a road map or guide, showing you areas of improvement and what you can do. This report might reveal a particular account that is adversely affecting your credit score.
Conversely, things you don’t have can be a risk factor as well. For example, not being a homeowner could be a risk factor in some situations. However, there may be other ways that you can tilt the credit odds in your favor.

The Downfall of Mishandled Credit

Conversely, if you’re someone that has handled credit negligently, you’ll find many doors closing for you. You may receive credit card offers but the interest rate for your credit card may be significantly higher. Depending on how bad your credit is, you may not be able to require a conventional credit card as well. You may be limited to secured credit cards to help rebuild or re-establish your credit until you can prove that you can handle credit responsibly.

Secured credit card requires you to pay a certain amount of deposit and in turn, you are given credit equal to your deposit typically. The interest rates may be high on a secured credit card as well. It should also be noted that certain types of credit cards may not be available to someone with poor credit. For example, you may not receive credit card offers for balance transfers or with low or zero percent interest rates. For all practical purposes, you are considered a credit risk and most banks will handle you cautiously, requiring you to prove yourself by honoring your credit terms over time, before extending more credit or offering you better interest rates. However, if you can get a credit card, you have a fighting chance, no-a good chance of building credit if you make your payments on time and honor the terms of your credit card.

The Yellow Brick Road to Credit Worthiness

Once you’ve chosen to conquer your poor credit or lack of credit, you need to look for a simple credit card that will allow you to achieve this without too much effort. In other words, you need to look for a credit card that will allow you to do this pretty easily. However, the type of credit card you pursue should be largely based on your unique situation.

Those That Have Little or No Credit

If you are someone that doesn’t have much credit, choosing the right card and getting approved for it can seem a bit daunting. However, there are credit cards geared to people with low or no credit. For example, if you are a college student who’s never had a credit card or any type of credit before, many credit card companies have starter credit cards for people new to credit. Many of these cards offer perks that people with established credit enjoy. For example, zero percent introductory fees and cashback on purchases.  Cards with zero percent annual percentage interest rates help new credit card users save on the amount of interest they will be paying as time passes. Also, there are a whole host of other perks and benefits that credit card companies may offer to beginner credit card users.

Conversely, it’s safe to say that you won’t have credit card offers pouring from the sky when you have little to no credit. There is a chance that you might have to start with a secured card to initially establish your credit. You may even consider joining a credit union and attempting to get a credit card through your credit union.

Regardless of Your No Credit, Poor Credit Do This…

Regardless of whether you have no credit or poor credit, you mustn’t waste your time applying for credit cards that aren’t a good fit. This is one of the main reasons why you need to develop both a fundamental and intimate understanding of your unique credit situation. Your credit report provides this information and you must pull all three. They won’t all have the same information and your credit score can vary from one credit reporting agency to the next.

However, the idea is to know for sure what’s on your credit report so that you know which credit cards will be best for you. Every time you apply for credit it creates an inquiry. If you are denied it can reflect negatively on your credit. This is why you need to make educated and practical choices when you apply for a credit card by applying for cards with good approval rated for people with your credit situation. You can’t do this unless you know what you’re working with.

Essentially, know your credit score as well as what’s on your credit. This will help you make good decisions when it comes to applying for credit cards that you have a good chance of approval. In essence, only apply for credit cards with good approval odds. In other words, if you have a credit score of 550, that Platinum Visa is probably not for you and you probably won’t be approved. However, you may qualify for that secured credit card offer that just came in the mail. Also, it’s not a good idea to apply for a lot of credit cards at once if your goal is to start building credit. Be conservative and apply for cards you know you have a good chance of getting. This is honestly the best credit card shopping trick.

Secured Credit Cards to Build Credit

These types of credit cards are honestly good for a wide variety of people for many different reasons. Your creditworthiness is not usually on trial with these types of cards. People with little or no credit as well as poor credit can use secured credit cards if they are unable to qualify for conventional credit. Consider a secured credit card a starter credit card. Secured credit cards require you to make a deposit equal to the amount of credit you are seeking. More often than not, secured credit cards are dressed down versions of traditional credit cards. They don’t usually offer too many perks and your interest rates may still be high.

These types of credit cards usually don’t offer perks like cash back, sky milers, or rewards. However, these credit cards do give people with no credit or poor credit an opportunity to rebuild or establish a good credit history. Making payments on time and not maxing out the credit card usually reflect positively on credit history. And can lead to an increase in your credit limit and more credit card offers once you have a history of making payments on time.

The Nuts and Bolts of Secured Credit

Secured credit cards usually offer automatic approval without a credit check, although some may require approval and may even consider your credit. Some may even require you to have a checking account. When you apply for a secured credit card you submit your deposit along with your application. Your credit limit is usually equal to your deposit. Some cards may return your deposit after a certain amount of time has passed and you’ve made on-time payments.

Using Secured Credit Cards to Build Credit

Once you’ve established credit via a secured credit card, there are tips you can exercise to boost your creditworthiness. Use your card modestly and pay off your balance every month. This shows credit card companies that you are responsible and don’t overspend. You can show this by making small purchases and paying them off. Also, make sure you’re paying your bill by the due date or before. This also shows responsibility. Even secured credit cards report to the different credit agencies. Your good faith efforts will be notated, although you have a secured credit card. Credit is credit, plain and simple. Once you’re handling your credit card responsibly, check your credit score periodically. As it improvers, you may be able to request a credit increase or an unsecured credit card which will also reflect positively on your credit.

Other Considerations Regarding Secured Credit Cards

Often, secured credit cards are better options than credit cards geared towards people with bad credit. The interest rates may be higher on secured credit cards. But they are often lower than credit cards that specifically target people with poor credit. Credit cards that target people with poor credit often have high non-refundable fees in addition to high-interest rates. This is one of the key reasons whey secured credit cards may be favorable for people looking to build credit because they don’t have any and people who have poor credit.

What Secured Credit Cards won’t Do…Typically

Secured credit cards usually don’t allow you to spend beyond the amount of your credit limit which is equal to your security deposit. Some credit card companies offer partially secured credit cards which may give you a credit limit that exceeds your deposit. However, most credit limits for secured cards are equal to your deposit.

Traditional Credit Cards (Unsecured)

In some situations, your credit may not be so poor that you can’t get a traditional credit card to build credit. In situations like this, it’s a good idea to look for a credit card with certain basic characteristics that make any card attractive. Low-interest rates are usually part of the key determining factors when it comes to choosing a credit card. Comparison shop and consider what’s important to you and any perks, aside from the basic things, that each card offers.

Conclusion

The road to good credit isn’t paved overnight. It takes time. Credit card companies need to see a steady history of on-time payments and responsible credit urs. However, proving your creditworthiness to credit card companies may not take as long as you think it will. In some situations, your credit score can improve significantly enough, within as little as six months, to yield better credit card offers along with a higher credit score.

All of this is possible through fundamental information and a thorough understanding of your credit situation. Know where you are on the credit map. Is your credit history fraught with bankruptcies, charge offs, and repossessions? Don’t apply for that platinum visa, choose a secured or basic credit card instead. Are you a student that has never had a credit card and whats to start building credit? Seek credit cards geared for students and beginning credit users and honor the credit terms. The key is picking a credit card that is right for you. Follow all the terms and conditions of the card. You’re bound to see improvement fairly quickly. If you can learn to incorporate the advice, tips, and tricks, you are on your way to building credit.

 

What Are the Advantages of Going Cashless: Millennial Mindset

A man scanning a QR code on mobile app

A cashless society can seem like something of the future but society is already moving in this direction. There are several powerful forces that are behind the move to a cash-free society, including large financial service companies and governments. Even the critics of a mainstream financial system also favor doing away with cash.  There are several nations that already making the push to eliminate cash with the push coming from both the government and consumers. India and Sweden are two examples of nations going cashless.

Advantages of Going Cashless

We are living in a “hi-tech” world and today money flows faster than ever. Carrying money around or to be afraid to lose your money when you travel is a past. There are many more advantages of going cashless for both an individual and a business.

Advantages of Going Cashless for Individuals

There are plenty of advantages of going cashless that individuals should be aware of.

Convenience

The ease of conducting a cashless financial transaction is one of the biggest motivators to go digital. You won’t need to worry about carrying cash around or line up for an ATM withdrawal. It can be safer if you are traveling. You also have the freedom to perform a transaction whenever and wherever you want. You don’t have to be present to pay as you would if you were handing over cash.

Track Spending

You can pay with cash without there being a record. If transactions are on the record because you are going cashless then it’s easy for people to keep track of spending. This can be useful when filing income tax returns and if someone has some additional scrutiny on how they spend money. It can also be easier for budgeting.

Better Budgeting

One of the advantages of going cashless is that it’s easy to see exactly where your money is going so that you can keep tabs on your spending. Various tools and apps will help you analyze your spending patterns and give you signs over the months. Having a better budget can open up a lot of different financial goals for you, whether that is buying a house, getting out of debt, saving for an emergency fund or retirement, or getting involved in investing.

Lower Risk

If you lose your cash, it can be impossible to get it back. However, it can be easy to block a mobile wallet or credit card remotely if you lose it. A loss of cash can cause a great inconvenience, especially when traveling. Some futuristic cards are even evolving to use biometric ID capabilities, such as eye scans and fingerprints, which are much harder to copy, so cash can be a safe option. If you cancel your card before any fraudulent transactions are made then you won’t even lose a penny. Even if there are fraudulent transactions made, the card company will usually reimburse you for purchases you didn’t make.

Build Up Your Credit

Having good credit makes it easier to get a loan and it takes a while to get a good credit score. In order to start building your credit, it is best to begin making purchases on a credit card. When you start putting purchases on your credit card today and then pay off your balance in full each month, it’s easier to make some big financial decisions in the future.

Rewards Points

Businesses may reward you for going cashless. For example, Starbucks will give you a free drink after you earn a certain number of rewards points, which you get by paying with their mobile app. Many credit cards also offer you rewards on your purchases.

It’s Cleaner

Nobody is cleaning the cash and bills and coins are covered in bacteria. With today’s payment machines, you are likely the only one touching your credit card.

Advantages of Going Cashless for Society in General

While there are plenty of advantages for individuals, there are also advantages for society in general.

Less Crime

Cash is easy to steal. Illegal transactions typically take place with cash so there isn’t a record of the transaction and the seller can be sure they are getting paid.

Paper Trails

Financial crime is much harder with a paper trail. It’s hard to evade taxes and hide income if there is a record of the payments you receive. Money laundering is harder if funds are always available.

No Cash Management

Top 10 cashless countries

It costs money to make coins and print bills. Businesses need to be able to store money or get more when they run out, as well as deposit cash when they have too much on hand. Moving money around and still protecting the large sums of cash could become a thing of the past.

International Payments

When going to a foreign country, you may need to get the local currency. Payments are easier if both nations will handle cashless transactions. Instead of having to figure out a different form of currency, a mobile device can handle everything for you.

Advantages of Going Cashless for Businesses

There are plenty of advantages of going cashless that businesses might enjoy.

Faster Service at Checkout

Using cash can slow down how fast you can serve your customers and this then increases your staff overhead. If your customer is getting out their wallet or purse to sort their bills and get change, things take longer. A credit card or contactless payment option is quicker and more efficient. Human error can be costly when it comes to making change. Giving out incorrect change adds up over time and this issue is removed when you go cashless.

Easier Financial Management

Adding up cash and then checking it against receipts and taking it to the bank adds up. You also need to collect and store change. Debit and credit card transactions are automatically reconciled and paid into the bank account. This frees up finances and reduces the administration overhead on staff.

Save Time and Money

Even though businesses do have to pay a fee for a credit card transaction, there is the fee to pay employees to count cash. These extra hours add up and by going cashless, you can actually scale up instead of spending time and money on cash management.

Reduced Risk of Theft

It may not be an issue for your business, but one of the main advantages of going cashless is that it lessens the opportunities for theft. There are plenty of stories of employees lifting a little extra money from the register, as well as criminals breaking in. A cashless transaction system reduces the chances of money loss.

Appeal to Customers That Don’t Carry Cash

Millennials and the younger generations are more attracted to digital wallets and other payment methods and aren’t likely to carry cash. By emphasizing that you appeal to these customers, you are seen as a more innovative business, which can make you more attractive to these customers as they look for products and services.

Businesses do need to be mindful of going completely cashless since it can be seen as discriminatory. It may even be illegal in some states and cities. There are common reasons why people may not have a bank account, which makes it harder to go cashless. However, if a business does want to go cashless to take advantage of the benefits then it’s still possible to accept cash while encouraging plastic and cashless payments. For example, install a cashless kiosk that can help speed up the ordering process or have one cashless location. Another tactic for the encouragement to go cashless for your customers could be to implement a rewards program for customers that pay with a card.

What Does a Cashless World Look Like?

Without cash, payments will be electronic. Instead of coins and paper money to exchange value, you then need to authorize a transfer of funds to someone else or another business. The logistics for a completely cashless society are still developing but there are already some hints on how this can evolve.

Debit and credit cards are some of the most popular cash alternatives that are being used today. Cards online aren’t enough for a fully cashless society so mobile devices are also a primary tool for payments. Online card shops and finance sites can help you choose the right card for your needs.

Electronic payment apps, such as Venmo or PayPal, are useful for P2P payments. In addition, there are some bill splitting apps that allow friends to split bills in a fair and easy manner.

Mobile payment services and mobile wallets can provide cash-free and secure payments. In developed nations that don’t use cash as often, a mobile device is usually the most common tool for payments.

Cryptocurrencies are joining the discussion. These can be used for money transfers and then introduce innovation and competition that can keep costs low. There are currently risks and different regulatory hurdles that can make them hard to use for most consumers so they aren’t ready for widespread use.

Disadvantages of Going Cashless

While it’s important to note the many advantages of going cashless, it’s hard to talk about the advantages of going cashless when there are also some disadvantages to be aware of.

Privacy

Payments electronically do mean less privacy. You could trust the organization that handles your data, and you may not have anything to hide, but payment information can turn up in ways that are hard to protect. Cash allows you to spend money and get funds anonymously so you have more privacy.

Hacking Concerns

Hackers are the bank robbers of the electronic world. In a cashless world, it can be much scarier if someone invades your account since you don’t have different ways to spend. Even if you are protected, there are still inconveniences after a breach.

Technology Issues

Outages, innocent mistakes, and glitches can cause issues and may even leave you with no ability to buy things that you need when you need them. Merchants won’t have a way to accept payments from a customer if their system malfunctions. Even something as simple as a phone battery that dies means you are penniless.

Inequality

Those who are poor can have a harder time going cashless. They won’t have expensive devices that are often used for payments and those that operate in an informal economy don’t have ways to receive aid or get paid.

Fees

If you are forced to just choose between a few payment method options then you can’t expect financial institutions to give you a good deal. Payment processors could cash in on high volumes and eliminate savings that come from less cash handling.

Overspending

When you buy something with cash, you feel the pain of every dollar you spend. With an electronic payment, it becomes easier to just swipe without noticing how much you are actually spending and you will need renewed efforts to manage spending so you don’t overspend.

Negative Interest Rates

When money is electronic, the government charges banks a negative interest rate. They may pass this on to customers in the form of a fee, but there is then no longer any cash to pull from. Dropping the interest rate is usually a move to stimulate the economy but this means there is less purchasing power.

How to Start Going Cashless for Individuals

With so many advantages of going cashless, you may begin to wonder how you should start to go cashless.

Have Different Options

You want to make sure that you have multiple options, such as credit cards or debit cards, in order to make your purchases. It also helps to have cards from different credit card companies in case a store doesn’t accept Visa or American Express. Some stores don’t accept certain brands because the processing costs are higher.

Choose a Bank with a Good Mobile App

You want a bank that has a great online service. This will make it easier for you to check your balance or even make purchases using your app. The better the technology, the more options you have to manage your money. You also want to be prepared with payment apps, such as PayPal and Venmo. These apps help you pay family and friends and you can even use them at some businesses that don’t accept cards.

Be Prepared to Be Turned Down for Certain Purchases

Some vendors or stores will still only accept cash. Others may not accept card payments for purchases that are less than a certain dollar amount. There could be a fee to use a credit or debit card instead of paying with cash.

Consider Carrying Some Cash for Backup

Even if the goal is to go cashless, in today’s world you still may need to consider carrying some cash. Your child’s teacher may not accept a credit card to pay that bill so your child can go on a field trip. Having access to a debit card or ATM should give you some options to get the cash you need in a pinch.

Consider Your Budget

The cash/envelope budget is a popular way to get started on a budget and to better keep track of your money. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a successful budget without using cash. If you have been using this budget and want to move toward being completely cashless then you need a system that works for you. If you don’t already have a paper and pen or electronic budgeting system in place, now is the time to start.

Going Cashless for Businesses

Before businesses should go cashless, one of the most important things to know is the customer and if they would be comfortable with this change. By going cashless, it’s possible to lose the elderly or low-income customers whose only form of payment is cash. Some businesses have been able to go cashless successfully, while others have received boycotts and complaints. It’s best to have some workarounds for customers if all they have is cash so you don’t need to lose them as a customer. Businesses should begin preparing for a cashless society and start to take debit and credit card payments, which has never been easier.

Ways to Go Cashless

There are different ways to go cashless.

  • Mobile Banking: You can use your smartphone to access your bank anytime from anywhere. When you use the app to check your balances, you can also make credit card payments on the go. Mobile apps don’t store your account information so it is secure and safe to use
  • Debit and Credit Cards: These are probably the easiest ways to go cashless. There are built-in safety features that make them safe to use
  • Mobile Wallet: A mobile wallet on your phone is an app that you use to pay retailers, service providers, and e-commerce sites
  • Online Payment Services: Online payment services offer one-stop solutions for different types of payments. For example, you can pay your taxes, credit card bills, or other bills
  • Online Banking: Checks are not the only way to pay through your bank account. Online banking services give you several options to send money

In Conclusion

Going cashless can be seen as the future and there are plenty of advantages of going cashless. Not only are there advantages for individuals but there are also advantages for businesses and society as a whole. While there are plenty of advantages of going cashless, it still helps to be aware of the disadvantages of going cashless and what can be done to make it much safer.

7 Top Low Interest Credit Cards: Get the Lowdown

Credit cards are a great tool to help you gain some financial flexibility and freedom. That is a true statement only if you use them properly. When not used properly, credit cards will become your biggest nightmare. You have to start a good credit card using habits from the first moment you get a credit card. It is really hard to go back to better credit card use once you have dug yourself a hole of debt. Some of you are in the hole and are nodding your head. Others of you are wondering what in the world I am saying. Americans have $1.04 trillion in credit card debt and that continues to rise each year. According to USA Today, 60 percent of Americans pay large amounts of interest each month and cannot afford it.

Best Credit Cards with Low-Interest Rate

It is important for you to use your credit cards wisely so that you do not find yourself in the same situation as many Americans. In this article, I am going to talk a little bit about the basics of credit card use and how to stop yourself from getting out of control with debt. I am going to explain the importance of low-interest credit cards and highlight some of them for you.

When looking for low-interest credit cards, it important to remember that there are many options available to you. While a low-interest rate is super important, you still need to understand what else a particular credit card has to offer you. You may only carry a balance occasionally, so if a card gives you additional perks, you may choose one that has a slightly higher interest rate because it offers you more cash-back points. You have to look at everything the credit card is offering you.

Low-Interest Credit Card #1

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit CardThe first credit card with low interest on my list is the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. This credit card has an introductory offer of 0 percent interest for 15 months. That means you are not charged any interest for 15 months, however, after that period, your interest rate goes up to anywhere between 15.74 percent to 25.74 percent, depending on your credit. Most of the time, a credit card company will not extend that 0 percent interest, but you could always ask before that period of time ends.

There are some other perks this card offers you, such as an unlimited 1.5 percent back on every single purchase you make, every single day. And there are no limitations and you do not have to enroll in it, it is automatic. There is no limit on how much you can earn and no minimum for you to cash in your cash-back. Your cash-back does not expire, so you can continue to let it grow. This card does not have an annual fee and they offer a one time bonus of $150 after you spend $500 within 3 months of opening the account. Honestly, this is my favorite credit card.

Low-Interest Credit Card #2

Discover It CardThe next card on the list of low-interest credit cards you should look at is the Discover It Cash Back card. This card comes with a variable rate of 13.49 percent to 24.49 percent. The interest rate depends on your credit score. With this card, Discover matches all the cash-back you earn in the first year. There is no limit on how much is matched. You do not have to sign up for this offer because it is automatic. You get 5 percent cash back at various places. The locations where you can receive cashback changes every quarter. You receive one percent cash-back for all other purchases. There is no limit to how much cash-back you can earn. You can redeem any amount you wish and the rewards do not expire. There is no annual fee with this card.

Low-Interest Credit Card #3

Capital One Venture One Rewards CardCapital One offers many low-interest credit cards, including the Capital One Venture One Rewards Card. This card has zero percent interest for 12 months, but then the interest rate goes up somewhere between 13.74 percent to 23.74 percent. You earn 1.25 miles for every purchase that you make every day. You earn bonus miles of 20,000 miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your credit card account. This equals about $200 in travel money. You can travel whenever you want and you have no blackout dates. This card has no annual fee. The miles will not expire and there is no limit on how much you earn.

Low-Interest Credit Card #4

BankamericardBankAmericard is up next as one of the top low-interest credit cards. This card has an interest rate of 14.49 percent to 24.49 percent variable rate. It has an introduction rate of zero percent interest for 18 months. There is no annual fee for this card. This card does not penalize you if you make a late payment. Your interest rate does not increase with a late payment.

Low-Interest Credit Card #5

Citi Rewards CardCity Rewards + Card is another great option as one of the low-interest credit cards. This card has a zero percent interest rate for 15 months but then goes up to 14.99 percent to 24.99 percent interest. You can earn bonus points of 15,000 after spending $1,000 on purchases after three months of opening your account. When you use this card, it rounds up to the nearest 10 points every time you make a purchase. There is no limitation on points.

Low-Interest Credit Card #6

Bank of America Cash RewardsBank of America Cash Rewards credit card is next on the list of low-interest credit cards that you should consider. There is an introductory rate of zero percent interest for 15 months. After the 15 months, the rate goes up to 15.49 percent to 25.49 percent. You can earn 3 percent cash-back in a category you pick. Then you get 2 percent at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and unlimited 1 percent on all other purchases. There is not an expiration date and no annual fee.

Low-Interest Credit Card #7

Chase FreedomLast but not least, you must also check out the Chase Freedom card as one of the low-interest credit cards. This card comes with a zero percent introductory rate for 15 months. After that, the interest goes up to anywhere between 16.49 percent to 25.24 percent after that. You can earn five percent up to $1,500 in bonus categories that you choose. The categories change each quarter. You receive one percent cash back on all other purchases. Your cash-back rewards never expire and there is no minimum for redemption. This card also has no annual fee.

What Is A Credit Card?

You probably think you already know what a credit card is and how to use it. Maybe you do and maybe some of you only think of it as that piece of plastic that you carry around with you that allows you to buy items. It is important that you have a better understanding of credit cards. So, I am going to take these few moments and remind you of some credit card basics. This is also a great time to explain why low-interest credit cards are the best option.

That piece of plastic is backed by a bank, which means they are allowing you to borrow money with your promise to repay it. You are also responsible for paying any interest and fees. The bank allows you to borrow up to a certain amount of money. You can use it all at once or use only a portion of it. Any amount you use is due within 30 days. If you do not pay the amount in full, you must pay interest on the money you used but are not repaying right away. Interest is a confusing topic, so I will talk more about that later in this article.

No matter how much money you spend each month, there is always a minimum payment due. If you do not make at least the minimum payment, you are subject to fees and penalties. It can also negatively impact your credit score. You must be sure to pay at least the minimum each month. You really want to pay the entire amount each month, but many of us are unable to pay that much.

The way a credit card works is somewhat simple, as long as you have a complete understanding of it. If the credit card company extends you a credit limit of $3,000, that is how much you are able to use in any way you would like. If you use $500 of the available amount, you have $2,500 available to you. In about 30 days, you owe the credit card company $500. When you pay the full $500, you do not have any interest charges and your available balance goes back to $3,000. If you pay $300 of the $500, your available credit becomes $2,800. You are then charged interest for the other $200. This cycle continues each month.

What Is Most Important For Me To Know About Credit Cards?

There are many important items that you should know about credit cards before you starting using them. The first is, you have to remember that you are borrowing this money and you have to repay it. Another important fact is that each month the money you spent is added on to whatever you did not pay from last month. This amount adds up quickly. The better your credit score is means the better deals you can find for a credit card including low interest credit cards.

There are many different credit cards available, so it is important that you know the details about them before you pick one. You can easily compare credit cards online. Some credit cards have an annual fee, but many do not. An annual fee is a fee that you pay once a year for the credit card company to allow you to use their card. Some annual fees are incredibly high, as much as $300 or more. Some annual fees are low, around $20.

What Is Interest And How Does It Work?

Understanding interest rates and payments for your credit card is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself. Just about every credit card has some type of interest rate. Each one offers something different to each credit cardholder based on their credit score. Some credit cards offer introductory periods of zero percent interest. These periods are not forever but can be as long as 18 months. There are a number of credit cards that offer low interest and I am going to explain why that should be important to you.

There are two types of interest you are charged by the credit card company. One is called simple interest and the other is compound interest. Compound interest is when you pay interest on top of what you owe from being charged interest from the month before. This is how your credit card debt quickly gets out of control. I am going to explain this with numbers so that it may be a little easier for you to understand, but before I do that, I would like to highlight a few things.

Each credit card company decides what they are going to offer you based on your credit score. Credit card interest rates are variable, which means they change. A credit card company can change the interest rate of your credit card at any time. They do this based on your credit score. It is important that you work hard to maintain a high credit score. You can do this by paying all of your bills on time and in the amount that is due. You can also do this by working hard to keep your credit card balances low.

If you need help to find potential lenders and best credit cards, maybe we can help you. For example, our partner Fiona may offer credit card options based on your credit rating and the purpose of the card.

Back to the point, which is how interest charges work against you. These numbers are for explanation purposes only. They are not a reflection of what you may see in real life with your credit cards. I am only trying to help you understand how interest works.

Taking the scenario I mentioned earlier where you spent $500 on your credit card, but only paid $300 of it. You still owe $200 and your available balance is $2,800. This means you are charged interest on the $200. Your interest rate is 10 percent. 10 percent of $200 is $20. That $20 is added to your balance due.

$200 (still owed) + $20 (interest charges) = $220 new balance

Your available credit is now $2,780.

So the next month you spent another $300. You now owe $520 and your available credit is $2,480.

When your next bill comes, you owe $520 (remember $20 is interest from the month before).

You pay $320, so you still owe $200, which is charged 10 percent interest.

$200 (still owed) + $20 (interest charges) = $220 new balance

This continues each month that you do not pay off your credit card balance. I have given you an example with low numbers but imagine if it was thousands of dollars how quickly it could get out of control.

I do not believe that there is any card worth paying an annual fee, so I would suggest you find one that does not charge you to use it. However, there are some that offer items such as airline miles and if you travel often, this may save you a lot of money long term and make the annual fee worth it. You need to understand what perks the card gives you and balance if it is worth it.

You should understand that if you do not make your minimum payment, you are charged a fee by the credit card company. That fee can vary from company to company, but most will charge you. If you go over your available balance, the credit card charges you a fee for that, too. Credit companies must disclose all of this information to you, but you have to read the fine print to see it.

Conclusion

You learned a lot in this article about low-interest credit cards. While the interest rate is important, be sure to understand all the information about the cards you are considering. Sometimes, the card with a slightly higher interest rate gives you other perks making it a better card for you. No matter which card you select, make sure you use your credit card wisely and do not get yourself into a debt hole and you cannot dig yourself out.

Compound Interest Definition: The Mathematical Mind Melt

Compound interest- it can be your best friend or your worst enemy. When using it in your savings and investments, it can do a lot for you. When it comes to compound interest on things you owe, such as a loan or credit card, it can overtake your life.

It is even worse when you do not understand it and have no clue how it affects you- or what it even is. Sadly, that is the case with many people. It can be confusing and overwhelming, so we are going to do our best to change that right now.

Compound Interest: A Simple Explanation

To be completely technical, compound interest is defined as “the total amount of principal and interest in future (or Future Value) less Principal amount at present (present value)” with a lovely formula that looks like this:

=[P (1 + i)n-1].

Got that?

If you are part of the normal crowd, it may take a few times- or more- reading that to understand. That’s okay- I am not a huge fan of being technical. It has its place, but really, it is not necessary, so let’s get simple.

Let’s start with the word “compound”. By dictionary definition, compound means “a thing that is composed of two or more separate elements,” “made up or consisting of two or more existing parts or elements,” and- my favorite- “make (something bad) worse; intensify the negative aspects of”.

I like this definition because, even though compound interest is good in savings and investments, it really hurts a lot more people than it helps. In the case of interest, compound means that the interest you owe is going to multiply. Typically, every month you are charged interest on the interest you currently owe, so it just keeps growing until you pay it off. So a simple compound interest definition is that the interest you owe, or are earning through investments, continually stacks on top of the interest from the previous round.

An Example of the Negative Side of Compound Interest

My oldest child will be 18 in a couple of years and, since I homeschool my kiddos, I designed a finance class to teach him as much as I can before he moves out on his own. Just this week, we were discussing credit cards. I do not want to scare him away from them- I just want to be sure he handles them responsible and does not end up in a ton of debt. The following is the scenario I gave him to explain compound interest and how it can wreck your life:

You get an offer for a credit card and apply and get approved for a $100 credit limit. It comes with a 28% interest rate that is compounded monthly. After you spend your $100, you receive a bill at the end of the month that says you owe $128= $100 being what you borrowed and $28 being the interest. You then notice that your minimum payment is only $25.

This is your first time dealing with a credit card, and your check was a little short, so you choose to pay only the minimum payment and feel good that you are responsibly making payments. The next month, your bill comes in and you see that your balance is $131.84. Wait- what? Didn’t you just pay on that? After your last payment, your balance was only $103. And you have not used the card again because you reached your limit last month. How on earth did this happen?

This is what compound interest is. The first month you were only charged interest on what you used. When you paid less than the full balance due, any interest left (in this case, $3) turned into the principle. The following month, that 28% interest is charged on the full $103 you owe. It is not pretty, and it continues to grow. In fact, check out how much it can grow if you continue to make minimum payments only:


Month 2:

Balance Due- $131.84

Minimum Payment- $25

Total After Payment- $106.84

Month 3:

Balance Due- $136.76

Minimum Payment- $25

Total After Payment- $111.76

Month 4:

Balance Due- $143.05

Minimum Payment- $25

Total After Payment- $118.05

Month 5:

Balance Due- $151.10

Minimum Payment- $25

Total After Payment- $126.10

Month 6:

Balance Due- $161.41

Minimum Payment- $25

Total After Payment- $136.41


This is just for six months. Imagine that growing for a year or even a decade. It all seems so simple and innocent in the beginning, but it grows into a monster. Let me point out of few things here to bring home just how crazy this is:

  • Even after paying $25 a month for 6 months, you still owe $136.41.
  • That $25 you have been paying means that you have already paid a total of $150, which is more than you borrowed in the beginning. Do you get that? You have already paid more in interest than you have borrowed. And, yet, you still owe more than you borrowed. That’s nuts! (Yes, that is my technical term for it.)
  • You are paying all of this for $100 that you are really only borrowing one time, and that is the first time. Once you repay it, you are just re-borrowing your payment. What I am saying is that the $100 is only technically loaned to you once, no matter how many times you borrow it or how often you repay it.

How Compound Interest Really Gets Out of Hand

You may have looked at the first few months of my example and thought, “Well, that’s really not so bad. I would still owe under $200.” You are correct- it does not seem so bad. The first few months, though, are not normally what gets people in the most trouble. It is when they wait years to pay it off.

“But why would anyone wait that long?” you might be wondering. Well, here’s a question or two for you to consider: How many times have you gotten sick and missed work? How many times has a surprise bill or emergency popped up and thrown off your monthly budget?

You see, it is not always a conscious decision for people not to pay their credit card balance every month- life happens, and sometimes there is nothing we can do about it. There is also the fact that not everyone understands how this interest works, so they have no clue how out of hand it can be. There are other times that extenuating circumstances make it impossible.

How Do I Avoid Compound Interest?

I hope we can all agree that owing any bill that involves compound interest is not a good thing, so of course we should avoid it as much as possible. Here are a few ways to do that:

Avoid Credit Cards Completely

Let me start by saying that credit cards are not the only thing that charges compound interest, but they are the most common, so we are mostly sticking with those through this explanation. As long as you understand compound interest with credit cards, you can translate that knowledge into other loan types.

Now, one of the best ways to avoid compound interest is to avoid credit cards. If you do not use credit cards, you are avoiding a good bit of compound interest. However, avoiding credit cards completely is not always the best step.

Even with compound interest, there are benefits to credit cards.

1. They are great for emergencies.

If you end up on the side of the road with a flat tire and no cash, or if your kid needs medicine and you do not get paid for a few days, a credit card is a lifesaver. Understand though that it can only save you if you have money available there. If you have used up your limit, that card is doing nothing more than taking up space in your wallet.

2. They can help you build credit.

Credit cards are great for building credit when handled responsibly. Just having a card open and not using it or paying your full balance every month improves your credit utilization- a big factor in your credit score. Having a balance of more than 30% of your credit limit can mess you up, though, so you have to be careful.

3. There are some things that simply require a credit card.

Some purchases, hotel, and rental car reservations, and more require that you have a credit card. More often than not, this can be covered with a debit card through your bank, though. It really just depends on the company you are trying to do business with.

Compare Credit Cards

Okay, so if avoiding credit cards is not always the best solution, the next step is to really- and I mean really- compare credit cards and credit card interest rates before you get them. You want to find the cards with the lowest interest rates. The lower the interest rate, the lower the amount of compound interest you can expect to pay.

Understand the Cards You Have

Reading the fine print is never fun, but it is extremely necessary, especially when it comes to anything financial. In that fine print, credit card companies spell out- often in very technical terms- how they charge you interest, how often it is compounded, what happens when you do not pay, any additional fees they charge, and so on. The key to avoiding interest lies in the information you can learn from that fine print. The better you know how your credit card company operates, the better you can manage your card.

Choose Another Option

Avoiding credit cards may not always be the answer, but using them is not always the right answer, either. Credit cards are better for short term purchases. For instance, if you need gas to get back and forth to work and you get paid at the end of the week, using a credit card is not so bad- if you repay the money you use on payday. If your little one is using more diapers than usual and you are down to your last one, using $20 to get a new pack with a credit card is probably okay- again, if you repay that amount as soon as you get paid.

However, if you are in need of more money for a longer period of time, you should look into other options. Let’s say you missed a week of work thanks to being sick and you now need to find $300 to keep your electricity on. Unless you can absolutely pay back that $300 before the close of the billing cycle when interest is charged, you should probably put that card right back in your wallet.

In times like these, you are usually better off seeking a personal installment loan. Why? Well, these handy things typically come with fixed interest that is calculated up front and spread out with payments. Using the $300 for the electric bill, let’s compare a fixed-rate installment loan and credit card with compound interest with the same interest rate of 25% (Do note that most installment loans have lower interest rates, but this example is meant to show the difference):

A. Credit Card With Compound Interest

Principle- $300

Total with Interest- $375

Minimum Payment- $25

If you only pay that minimum balance, you will still owe $350. The next bill you get will show a total balance of $437.50. As you saw in the other example of the credit card, that number just keeps growing. Within a year, your balance can end up over $1,000 for just borrowing $300. That’s no bueno, in my opinion.

B. Personal Installment Loan With Fixed Interest

With a personal installment loan, you have a repayment term. We will use one year for this example:

Principle- $300

Total with Interest- $375

Monthly Payments- $31.25 for 12 months

At the end of the repayment term with the personal installment loan- so long as you have made all of your payments- your loan is paid off. Do you see the difference? With the credit card, your minimum monthly payment is nearly the same as the installment loan’s monthly payments, but you are just spinning your wheels with the credit card. Literally, it’s like your car being stuck in the mud. You keep pushing the gas and spinning the wheels, but you are just digging yourself further.

With the installment loan, every single payment you make is getting you closer to the finish line, saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

For the sake of transparency, I feel obliged to point out that installment loans come in different shapes and sizes. Interest rates, repayment terms, and even fees associated with them change from lender to lender and loan to loan. A lot of factors are taken into consideration, including your credit and income. However, an installment loan is almost always a cheaper option when you need to borrow larger amounts of money that you cannot immediately repay.

You may now be wondering why you should not just get an installment loan each time, but these loans typically do not come in tiny increments. This means that unless you need the full amount of the loan, you are putting yourself into unnecessary debt.

Pay Your Bill

The final way to avoid compound interest is to pay your bill in full and on time each month. As long as you are making your payments every month and have a $0 balance when you are done, interest does not have the chance to build on top of itself.

If you are thinking something like, “Yeah, that’s easy for you to say. I don’t have that kind of money lying around,” I know how you feel, but this is a bad way of thinking because you are missing a very important fact: You can re-borrow that money. In fact, if you work it right, you can not only avoid compound interest but interest altogether. And, I’m going to tell you how to do it.

First, you need to make sure that your interest is calculated and added monthly, not daily.

If you are charged interest on your daily balance, this particular “trick” will not work. However, if you are only charged interest at the end of the billing cycle, I’ve got you covered.

Okay, let’s say you use $100 of your credit limit. Your interest is charged monthly and the end of your billing cycle is the 20th(this information will be in the fine print that I mentioned), you get paid on the 18th. On payday, go ahead and pay your full balance with interest, leaving you owing $0. When the interest is calculated on the 20th, you owe nothing, so there is no interest to add.

On the 22nd, when your water bill is due, you can use your card to pay for it. Then, on your check that comes right before the 20thof the next month, pay the full amount again. This habit can help you in so many ways:

  1. You will not have to pay interest.
  2. You do not have to worry about that interest piling up.
  3. Your credit utilization points on your credit is going to look awesome.
  4. You will probably get an increase in credit limit and maybe even new and better credit card offers. To be fair, a higher credit limit and new cards can either help or hurt you. As long as you keep up this payment habit, though, it will be fine.

An Example of the Positive Side of Compound Interest

At the beginning of this, I said that compound interest could be good for you in some cases. It seems only fair I explain that a little farther. It is really the same basic thing as owing compound interest, but it is reversed.

There are some investment accounts that offer compound interest, such as bank accounts and bonds. Bank accounts that pay interest though are typically going to be savings accounts, not checking accounts. It is rare for a checking account to pay interest. Savings accounts, on the other hand, usually give 1% to 2% interest. They often offer the lowest interest, but there are other investment accounts that earn more.

For the sake of simplicity, though, we will say that you have deposited $100 into a savings account with a 2% interest rate that is compounded monthly. If you did not add any more money, this is how your account would grow:


Month 1:

Starting Balance- $100

Interest Earned- $2

Total w/ Interest- $102

Month 2:

Starting Balance- $102

Interest Earned- $2.04

Total w/ Interest- $104.04

Month 3:

Starting Balance- $104.04

Interest Earned- $2.08

Total w/ Interest- $106.12


This growth would continue as long as the money stayed there. Additionally, if you add were to save $100 each month, it would grow exponentially.

You probably noticed that you gain interest at a much slower rate than you get charged interest. Unfortunately, this is the nature of the game. To earn more, you need to look for someone to invest your money that offers more interest. Also, there are investments and savings accounts that compound daily instead of monthly meaning you have the potential to earn more quickly. Again, it is important to read the fine print so you can compare your options wisely.

Though this article focuses mostly on the downside of compound interest, you can also use it to grow your savings and your retirement fund. The keys to both saving and earning money with compound interest lie in educating yourself, making wise decisions, and handling it all responsibly.

Conclusion

Compound interest can be a powerful thing, whether you are using it to build your life or it is tearing your finances apart. It is important to always keep in mind that it has the ability to impact your life both positively and negatively, so you have to pay attention to the choices you make and the actions you take.

If you are currently in trouble thanks to compound interest and credit cards, you may not see any hope, but don’t give up. You might consider getting one of those personal installment loans we talked about earlier to pay off your credit card debt. Doing so will rid you of that pesky compound interest and allow you to pay off the debt over time. If you do this, though, make sure you put those credit cards away so you do not end up in another hole.